The global worth of the mobile games market exceeded that of the console and PC games market for the first time in 2016.
That's according to a new report from DFC Intelligence, which says that overall mobile game revenues grew 32 per cent in 2016. Unsurprisingly the driver of this growth was China, where giants such as Tencent and NetEase are enjoying fantastic growth.
EA and Activision are also tipped for big mobile growth, the report adds.
Large console and PC game publishers have not really been significant players in the mobile space but that is starting to change,” DFC analyst David Cole said. Japan has been a market trend leader in games since the 1980s and large game publishers like Bandai Namco and Square Enix are seeing major growth as they bring key franchise to mobile devices.”
However, the increased competition in mobile gaming is leading to an ever increasing number of new releases falling flat, and the required development and marketing investment needed to succeed is escalating – the result of which, DFC believes, is an eventual consolidation in the market.
A report from IHS Markit last month found that the Chinese video game market was in 2016 worth $25.6bn, and this is expected to grow to $29bn this year. This makes it the biggest player in the PC and mobile sectors by quite some margin.
PC accounted for 51 per cent of the total 2016 spend. However, the mobile market grew by 55 per cent last year and is expected to overtake PC before the end of 2017. The console install base remains at under 500k units.
Five years ago as growth outlook in the China PC games market started to slow and mobile game consumption increased rapidly most established PC games publishers in China made an aggressive and committed diversion to the mobile sector,” IHS explained.
The popularity of PC-like games experiences is further illustrated by the success of Tencent's Honor of Kings a mobile MOBA title often compared to the world's most popular PC online game, Tencent-owned Riot Games' League of Legends (pictured). Tencent, who is busy developing its domestic eSports strategy for Honor of Kings, views the title as non-competitive with League of Legends and actually considers it an acquisition vehicle for expanding League of Legends further.”