Smartphones Became the Main Gaming Platform & You Didn’t Even Know It
You know that smartphones are popular. There are as many of them in the world as there are people, which is a lot. You are also aware that they are an excellent main gaming platform, with apps and web browsers making them more accessible than ever. What you may not realize is that phones have taken over the industry.
Back in 2018, a study showed that mobile devices accounted for 51% of the global market, more than PCs and consoles. The growth hasn’t stopped, either. In 2021, 66% of the people who own phones use them to play games. Here’s how they transformed into the main platform, and why they could stay there for a long time.
Affordability Led to Increased Market Penetration
That’s a fancy way of saying that the average price of mobile devices has steadily dropped, making it easier for people around the world to buy a smartphone. For example, in 2015, the global penetration of PCs was around 17%, which was impressive growth from 2006 when it was 6%.
However, compared to phones, it was insignificant. Smartphones, for instance, already accounted for a larger global penetration in 2014, with 21.4%. By 2020, it reached 78% and became the number one platform for gamers. As a result, it is much savvier to invest in a mobile device today than it is a PC or next-gen console, especially since the latter are expensive compared to phones and tablets.
The fact that giant brands like Apple and Google spotted a gap in the market and exploited it only made the decision easier. This is evidenced by the gross revenues between 2015 and 2018 for their respective stores, which collectively recorded an increase of 300%.
Experiences Are Optimized
It’s one thing having a cheaper avenue to play games, and it’s another to have a high-quality gaming platform. Although smartphones didn’t start great, they have evolved in several ways, beginning with the handset itself. Nowadays, the screens are bigger and enable a superior view of maps, a lot like playing on a PlayStation or Xbox console. Also, performance capabilities are crammed into smaller chips, meaning iPhones, Samsungs, and Huawei’s are powerful enough to support traditional titles. Xbox wouldn’t release Game Pass and let customers stream releases from their phones if this wasn’t the case. The introduction of apps was another pivotal moment for the sector.
Firstly, it improved the quality of mobile gaming as highly defined offerings, such as Fortnite, transitioned onto smartphones via their mobile versions. Suddenly, 3D mobile editions were available at any time from any location. The breaking down of barriers through apps led to enhanced user experiences in other areas, too, such as online casino gaming. Offerings like slots, poker, and blackjack games that you usually needed to play in-person were provided via applications that are downloadable in seconds to this day. Due to this, operators developed apps for Android and iOS so that players could access games with a click of a button.
Of course, the fact that smartphones and apps break barriers, making it feasible to engage customers remotely, only adds to the improved user experience because casino games are convenient in several locations, from New Jersey to Pennsylvania. Revenues in these regions have increased dramatically as a result, with Pennsylvania setting a record in April 2020 after a 77.5% from March 2020. That is doable when the biggest global brands enter the market and focus on mobile features, as this PA casinos list reflects, with DraftKings, FanDuel, and SugarHouse all providing mobile-centric services. As we have learned, the effect is enhanced when the market penetration of smartphones means that billions of people already own a device, rather than a PC or video console.
Mobile is now the king of gaming and won’t be relinquishing its crown any time soon. How can it be when it’s the most affordable platform that offers a range of games to its users, from traditional video releases to online casino offerings?