Gaming is booming and mobile gaming is booming – and they're both set to boom a whole lot further yet.
OK – so tell us something we didn't know!
The growth in all forms of electronic gaming is plain to see. Every kid you ever see has his or her head down looking very studious every chance they get – and it's invariably with a tablet or smartphone in hand. They may, on the off chance, be communicating with friends somehow in the myriad ways available to them – but on the whole… they're gaming. They certainly aren't studying unless they're being forced to!
So let's try and put a few dollar figures on where this is going exactly. Well by 2017 when the International Data Corporation has forecast that digital PC and Mac revenues will reach around $24 billion, the Global Games Investment Review by Digi-Capital reckons the aggregate value of the world's gaming businesses will be go over $100 billion; that's how big were talking.
And within that figure, the fastest growth of all is coming from the mobile gaming industry – so no surprises there either.
Overall, the main engine for that growth is in Asia, in terms of players and devices and sheer growth. This is confirmed by a number of different studies – about which more in a moment.
It doesn't take a genius, then, to spell out that this ongoing explosive growth spells opportunity in so many different ways for different enterprises.
It's also no surprise to learn that this could be great news for consumers, because everyone wants a piece of your mobile gaming activities and the publishers are doing all they can to lure you in. This is particularly true of the online casino, slots and bingo types of business where the revenues can be huge. In this arena, the competition is perhaps fiercer than in any other. The good news is that consumers are making out like bandits, picking up lumps of free cash and other special offers wherever they can.
In the UK, for example, bingo has always been big business by country tradition and this has now morphed into the online world. Some providers such as Mirror, 888, Wink Bingo and several others are competing fiercely in terms of what they give away to new customers. Others also work hard at recruiting new players, but seem to put more effort still into retention strategies. At www.mirrorbingo.com/bingo, for example, the giveaway is big with £40 to play with for just £10 deposited, but the online site goes to extra lengths to keep players entertained in ways which complement the Mirror newspaper brand – an enormous brand in the UK.
Of course, other providers would say they do the same – and not only in the bingo world; online casinos are also enormously competitive and particularly for new customers. In other countries where gambling is illegal or more restrictive than in the UK, the supply side of the fence is less mature and less sophisticated, but not when it comes to pure non-gambling-based gaming.
But in this area, we really need to look to the east for growth. The afore-mentioned Digi-Capital report sees Asia and Europe together representing around 80% of global mobile and online gaming revenues moving forward – with the most growth coming in Asia.
This is reinforced by a report from industry specialist research company Newzoo, a Dutch company. Newzoo predicts that mobile gaming revenues from Asia are set to increase at a compound annual 27.3% over the next few years. The company also estimates that the Asia-Pacific region already accounts for almost 50% of the planet's entire mobile gaming revenues.
Obviously – in an industry set to be as huge as we all know it will be from what we see around us every day – all such reports are studied in detail by all those looking to get an edge in this most competitive of arenas where both the risks and potential rewards are simply mind-bogglingly big.