I am Nitin Garg Founder of BR Softech PVT LTD - an Award-winning mobile game development company. We are armed with 180+ geeks & 2753 clients worldwide, I have driven by the spirit of entrepreneurship and dream to build a billion-dollar-company.
A significant change has occurred in the mobile gaming industry due to the increase in the number of gamers. There is no doubt that this change has resulted in more revenues being generated for the industry. Thus, game developers, marketers, and other operators pay special attention to mobile game development trends and statistics.
If you want to capitalize on this opportunity, you will benefit greatly from being informed about relevant trends in mobile games and statistics. Making smart decisions and building your business will be easier when you possess these skills, along with industry knowledge.
The mobile game industry generates more revenue than the music and film industries combined. To understand what gaming will look like in the future, let’s take an in-depth look at mobile gaming industry trends.
Table of Contents
Mobile Game Development Trends in the Gaming Industry
Game developers follow the upcoming mobile game development trends and develop killer game apps. With over 2.6 billion mobile gamers worldwide, there is no doubt that the mobile gaming industry is thriving. Everyone in the world is glued to smartphones. The penetration of smartphones is growing at an alarming rate.
Let’s take a look at the mobile game market trends for 2024 that you need to know-
1. AAA Mobile Gaming on the Rise
With recent technological advancements, gamers can now experience the stunning graphics and interactive gameplay of AAA titles on the mobile platform. This feat was achieved when Mihoyo managed to bring the gameplay mechanics and graphics of PC and Console games to mobile screens. The launch of Genshin Impact in 2024 revolutionalized the gaming industry. In just one month, the game was downloaded 15 million times and generated net revenue of $150 million.
Genshin Impact stood out from its competition because of the superior graphics, gacha game mechanics, and interactive open world-gameplay. Moreover, the gaming experience was surprisingly similar to PC and console. The launch of Genshin Impact cemented the belief that mobile games have promise and can deliver excellent results with optimized mobile games.
2. Augmented Reality
When talking about mobile game development trends, we can’t leave out AR. Augmented Reality(AR) can be described as the combination of game visuals and sound so you can interact with game objects in a real environment. AR gaming uses the real environment and introduces game elements to it.
The most popular AR game was Pokemon GO. It was launched in 2016 by Niantic Inc. in collaboration with Nintendo. The game crossed $100 million in just 20 days. Within a month, Pokemon GO generated a revenue of $207 million.
Pokemon GO allowed users to catch pocket monsters called Pokemon in a real-world setting. The game used the geolocation of the user and added game elements such as wild Pokemon and poke stops in the map of your city or town.
The landmarks were transformed into pokestops where the players can rest and get collectible items for free. It was a revolutionary game that became a massive hit. It utilized AR in a mobile game perfectly.
The game is still going strong and generating net revenue of $1.2 billion in 2022. The rise and popularity of Pokemon GO are evidence that AR gaming has incredible potential and is well-received by the audience. Not many AR games came into the limelight after Pokemon GO. Nowadays, AR is used widely in many applications like sports betting apps, gaming apps, and fantasy apps.
3. Virtual Reality
Virtual Reality offers a very captivating experience to its users. VR helps users interact and view objects in an enclosed environment with the help of VR headsets. There have been no noteworthy VR games as VR headsets are very costly.
The rise of technology will ensure that VR headsets become affordable and the overall quality of VR games will improve. Currently, VR gaming is a very remote sector. However, the future of VR is in good hands as many big tech companies are investing in this technology. Companies like Microsoft, IBM, Intel, etc are looking to invest in this promising sector.
It is evident that VR will dominate the gaming industry and is the future of mobile gaming. The technology of VR is fascinating, if implemented correctly, it could revolutionalise the future of mobile game development.
4. Artificial Intelligence
One of the most widely used mobile game development trends is AI. Nowadays, Artificial Intelligence is widely used in mobile games. AI enhances the overall gaming experience and helps developers create an interactive and engaging experience. AI is used in all sorts of applications. From a simple customer support chatbot to an NPC in a AAA game, it is all automated by AI. It automates the process and eliminates manual interruption making the game seem smoother.
Suppose you’re interacting with an NPC and you choose a dialogue, the AI will determine what the NPC’s next dialogue will be according to your choice. AI also introduces NPCs with learning capability which means they progress in the game as you progress.
Artificial intelligence is highly essential in modern games, it can either make or break your game. It is believed that the integrated strength of AR, VR, and AI is going to revolutionalise the gaming industry.
Read Also: Top 100+ Mobile Game Ideas for Android & iOS
5. Hybrid Casual in Place of Hyper Casual
Hybrid Casual games combine two or more different game genres. Generally, hybrid casual refers to a hypercasual core game with monetization features of mid-core games. Features like levels, social groups, character collection, etc can be found in these types of games.
The primary objective behind these games is to provide the accessibility of hypercasual games with engagement models of other gaming genres to enhance user retention and offer better monetization opportunities.
In 2022, there were over 5.1 billion downloads of Hybrid casual games and the genre generated a revenue of over $1.4 billion.
6. Increased User Spending on Mid-Core Titles
Mid-core titles dominated the year 2022 in terms of player spending. Games like Genshin Impact, PUBG Mobile, and Honor of Kings generated the most revenue. Genre-wise, RPG, and Strategy are the leading in terms of gross worldwide revenue, generating $20 billion and $16 billion respectively.
Mid-core titles rely on in-app purchases and subscription models as monetization methods. However, developers are now adopting the in-game ads approach as it also serves as an additional revenue stream and also boosts in-game purchases.
7. Live Ops Games Tops the Charts
One of the biggest mobile game market trends that are driving user retention and monetization is Live Ops. If we take a look at the top 10 games according to revenue, all the games have one thing in common- Liveops. It includes providing regular updates, improvements, and new events to users. Over 90% of mobile game developers use this strategy specifically in RPG and strategy games.
In the past few years, the LiveOps business model has been beneficial in enhancing user retention and revenue. Loot boxes and starter packs are two of the features that are common in top-grossing games. Games that utilise the loot boxes feature generate over 73% of the total worldwide mobile game revenue.
8. Blockchain Games are Declining
According to statistics, blockchain games peaked during the Q2 of 2022, with over 46 million downloads on App Store and Google Play Store. However, ever since then, the downloads and revenue have been declining in blockchain-based games.
Monthly active users for blockchain mobile games have also declined in major mobile gaming markets like the USA, Philippines, Brazil, Indonesia, etc.
Furthermore, the blockchain market is still in its initial phase and there is a possibility that blockchain games will transform into a lucrative and profitable game market.
Mobile Gaming Industry Statistics
The mobile gaming industry statistics reveal that the industry is flourishing and expanding at a rapid pace. The increased popularity of mobile games can be attributed to the various mobile game development trends that attract more users towards this segment. Let’s take a look at the mobile game statistics for 2024.
- There were over 3.9 billion smartphone users worldwide in 2021.
- Consumer spending on mobile games was registered at $116 billion in 2021. It is expected to reach $138 billion by the year 2025.
- China was the most profitable mobile game market followed by the United States and Japan. The registered game revenue stood at $56 billion, $43 billion, and $20 billion respectively.
- Over 82.9 mobile games were downloaded by gamers in 2021.
- 71% of Google Play’s revenue is expected to come from mobile games by 2025.
- User penetration is expected to reach 28.5% by the year 2025.
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A quick recap of the Key points-
- While there are more mobile gamers now, customer spending has reduced from the previous years.
- The United States remains the largest market in terms of revenue, while India is the biggest market when talking about downloads.
- Hybrid casual games are replacing the hypercasual genre as they provide better user engagement and retention.
- Mid-core games remained at the top of the charts in terms of revenue.
- LiveOps is the best trend for developers who want to increase revenue, engagement, and user retention.
- The puzzle was the top-grossing mobile game genre in 2022.
- Blockchain-based games saw a decline in users and downloads in the latter half of 2022.
Read Blog: Mobile Game Development Tools List
There is no doubt that the future of the mobile game development industry is very promising. The innovative technologies are all set to revolutionalise the gaming industry and drastically enhance our gaming experience. The mobile game market has a lot of potential and can be a great income source for mobile game developers. The technologies listed above are the next step in mobile game development trends.
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Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)
Q. What is blockchain gaming?
Ans. Blockchain gaming provides a play-to-earn feature. Players can earn real money by participating in games. It also provides a decentralized environment where players have true ownership of the assets they purchase.
Q. What is The Development Cost of A Mobile Game App?
Ans. Mobile game development is dependent on various factors like features, cross-platform compatibility, and the location of the developer. On average, the cost to develop a mobile game app with basic functionalities can range anywhere from $10,000 to $100,000. AAA mobile game development can go as high as $1 million.
Q. What is the future of the mobile gaming industry?
Ans. The future of the mobile game industry is very promising. With technologies like AR, VR, and AI paving the way for future development, the mobile gaming industry will be a market with great revenue potential.
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