surprising facts

10 Surprising Facts About the Mobile Gaming Industry

Did you know that people playing mobile games range from ages 13 to 65? How about the fact that more women play Pokemon GO than men?

The mobile gaming platform is barely a decade old but it has changed so much in a short span of time. It is even affecting how developers make games on PC and consoles these days.

Want to know more surprising facts about the mobile gaming industry? Here are 10 more to blow your mind:

Most Mobile Games are Free

65% of mobile games are free to play. Also known as freemiums, these titles are free to download but they do come with in-app purchases. These microtransactions and Downloadable Content (DLC) often cost between $0.99 and $9.99 a piece.

Freemium games started on the mobile platform but they’re growing in popularity in other forms as well. Many MMO games, like World of Warcraft, are turning to the freemium mechanics as well. This lets gamers try the game for free but they can only acquire special or rare items by purchasing them with real cash.

Free Games Earn Millions

One of the most surprising facts about mobile gaming is that the highest earning titles are all free. They don’t charge gamers to buy the game. They instead earn through other means like microtransactions, ads, and DLC.

Some of the highest earning free games include Arena of Valor (also known as Honor of Kings), Clash of Clans, Plants vs Zombies, and the Angry Birds games.

Arena of Valor, in particular, earned $150 million in the month of June this year and a port for the Nintendo Switch is in the works. Clash of Clans generated over $2.3 billion in revenue back in 2015.

In-App Purchases are Now a Priority

There was a time when free games were only a short demo. Players had to pay to access the full, premium title. That system is no longer effective since only 3% of gamers pay to get premium access.

Instead, the industry shifted to focus on microtransactions and paid DLC. 28% of gamers aged 13-54 purchased additional content at least once in the previous three months. This counts even more so for mobile games because almost all the content came from microtransactions.

Female Mobile Gamers Outnumber Males

A majority of mobile games are Match-3 puzzle games and life sims such as Animal Crossing or The Sims. It turns out that 69% of people who play these genres are female.

Female gamers also count for the majority of those who play casual games. These include titles like Clash of Clans, Clash Royale, and Angry Birds.

Female gamers playing MOBA titles, like Mobile Legends, is also growing. The studies show that 10% of MOBA gamers are female. On the other end of the spectrum, only 2% of sports gamers are female.

Companies Spend Nothing for Advertising

One of the most surprising facts is that mobile gaming companies spent nearly nothing on advertising. Instead, they focus on cross-game marketing. This is when they place short ads in their other games.

Very often these ads play when a game is loading. These loading videos and screens play for 30 seconds to 2 minutes, fully showcasing the gameplay and graphics. Ads often play in games owned by the same company too, to reduce costs.

China Dominates the Mobile Gaming Market

The mobile gaming market is increasing, with an estimated $108.9 billion in revenue in 2017. China is dominating that market as it accounts for $27.5 billion, approximately one-quarter of the global total.

Some of the highest ranking mobile games in history come from China. These include games like Arena of Valor, Onmyoji, Fantasy Westward Journey, and Cross Fire.

Big Companies are Going Mobile Too

Big companies like Nintendo avoided the mobile platform for a long time. The mobile community didn’t look like a lucrative market for their target audience, who were hardcore gamers using PCs and consoles. That’s changed in recent years and now the bigger companies are jumping into the mobile market too.

Nintendo is one of the most notable latecomers but they made up for it with the quality of their mobile releases. Nintendo recently published mobile titles like Super Mario Run, Pokemon GO, Fire Emblem Heroes, and Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp.

Sega published and developed several mobile games too. They’ve released mobile titles like Sonic Dash and Total War Kingdoms.

Loot Boxes are Becoming Controversial

Loot boxes give randomized rewards that players can only acquire from grinding or purchasing them with real money. The problem is that the mechanics around loot boxes are getting controversial and some countries now label the mechanic as gambling in video games.

Some surprising facts include that the United Kingdom has not ruled against loot boxes. Other countries like Belgium, China, and Japan enforce strict regulation laws for games with gambling elements.

Many mobile games started the loot box craze. Titles like Game of War and Clash Royale exploit the system to make players pay more to win. It’s now growing and affecting console and PC games as well, with Star Wars Battlefront II getting criticized the most for its loot box system.

Gamers Have Sharper Minds

Playing video games increase brain function. A study conducted back in 2013 and showed that playing different types of games makes a person smarter. Problem-solving skills, memory, spatial reasoning, and social skills can improve.

These skills come from playing different genres of games. Puzzle games help improve IQ and brain function while RPGs improve reasoning, logic, and problem-solving skills. RTS games improve multi-tasking and planning skills.

Video Gamers are More Social

Did you know that gamers aren’t the isolated, anti-social people often mistake them for? Gaming platform Twitch did a recent study and proved that gamers are more social than their non-gaming counterparts.

The study shows a higher percentage of gamers value their friends and spend time with their family more than non-gamers. Non-gamers also have a higher tendency to live alone. 76% of gamers considered having a positive impact on society important while only 55% of non-gamers did.

This should come as no surprise since most games focus on playing with others. A wide variety of mobile games, like Arena of Valor, focus on team dynamics. Even popular games like Pokemon GO emphasize social mechanics.

Want More Surprising Facts?

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There are tons more for you to sink your time into, right here. Are you not a fan of interesting lists? Don’t worry because you’ll find a ton of life hacks and quick tip lists too.