Telecom in mobile gaming

Last time we touched on the topic of gaming, we mainly focused on cloud gaming. Today we’re taking a closer look at mobile gaming, because considering how expansive this market truly is, I think it deserves a separate post.

Mobile gaming is the most expansive field of the game industry with over 2.2 billion gamers worldwide. It’s worth mentioning that in the first quarter of 2020, it grew from 1.2 to 1.76 billion in just a month. This is a mind-boggling increase and its expected to peak at 2.6 billion this year. In addition, in the second quarter of 2020, consumers spent over 19$ billion on mobile games. This marks roughly 51% of the overall revenue of the gaming industry.

Among the most popular games are of course Candy Crush and Pokemon Go. In 2016, the latter mobile game Pokemon Go went viral. An augmented reality game that involved capturing and training virtual creatures located in physical locations. It was downloaded by more than 500 million people within a year and since then more than 1 billion have given the game a go.

Telekom och mobilspel

What makes mobile games so popular?

One would think that the advanced graphics and intricate storylines usually found in console or PC games would top the forefront of the market. But truth is that mobile gaming appeals to a much broader demographic. More than 40% of mobile gamers are in fact women, and that differs from consoles or computers that mainly consists of males between age 12-35.

Mobile games are also far more accessible since pretty much everyone owns a mobile phone today. Compare this to buying and waiting for the pricey new PS5, and the demographic is suddenly much more narrowed. And not only that, but it’s also a breeze to just download an app and get started.

Data is fuel

In 2019, it was reported that mobile games consisted of 33% of all mobile downloads and 10% of time was spent in games. In 2020, we saw gaming companies partnering up with Telco’s to provide users with the option of buying mobile airtime and data with ability to send it to friends and family around the world. This was incredibly popular among customers who appreciate uninterrupted playtime. In addition, this is highly relevant for multiplayer games where various users play the same game from different locations. And if one runs out of data or is interrupted, the whole team is out. These data top ups are therefore incredibly useful when playing games like the famous Fortnite which is incredibly data heavy and can use between 40MB-100MB per hour.

Mobile gaming is only set to keep expanding and with that we can expect far more advanced games that will require better connection, faster download speed and data use. Something which only Telco’s can offer. Therefore, it’s a well-positioned way for the Telecom field to enter the entertainment market. By being able to team up with various production companies to create unique offers that appeal to a more diverse demographic. And it will be interesting to see how prevalent they become as the field expands in the future with 5G and AI becoming integral parts.

AR in mobile gaming

Speaking of AI, we have also seen more AR games enter the market as of recent and this is only bound to increase. Newzoo, a games analytics source, found that on IOS games in fact make up 25% of AR App downloads. This essentially makes games the most popular category on the platform. However, this still requires peripheral devices which are becoming more prominent on the market. And as more complex games are developed, we will likely see an increased revenue in mobile peripherals as well as necessary communication devices such as headsets.

Telecom as partner and supplier

Something that we touched on in the last post was how telecom players are starting to partner up with gaming companies in order to create unique offers for customers. In the mobile gaming industry this can be taken to a further level where they could allow customers access to exclusive releases or in-game operator advertisements. We will also likely see more hosted eSport event tournaments through these types of partnerships considering its incredibly popularity.

We’re also even seeing some telecom providers launching their own unique games and products. This is still very much uncharted territory that is currently being explored and we can expect to see more take part of this new field. For example, Indonesian provider Telkomsel launched their game Shellfire, an online battle arena and first-person shooter. The operator was also able to use its own distribution network to promote the game.

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