92% of Gamers Are Mobile Fans - What Tipped Devices over the Edge in 2021?

The role of mobile gaming in the gaming industry isn’t a surprise since the pattern has been trending positively in the sector for a long time. Still, console and PC video games somehow managed to keep hold of the title in the court of popular opinion.

That changed in 2021 when it emerged that 92% of gamers use mobile handsets to play their favorite titles, with 2.5 billion of the 2.7 billion gaming fanatics opting for mobile-friendly titles and providers. It appears this year has been the year the scales tipped in the direction of mobile, but what put the platform over the edge?

Technology Creates Communities

Hosting technology has been threatening to enter popular culture for decades. Skype was the business at the forefront of the movement, and then Facebook took over with WhatsApp and FB Messenger video calls. Still, the figures suggest that although the uptake for the services was promising, they didn’t take off to the level the companies expected.

Zoom and Microsoft Teams changed this recently when both brands revealed that their daily active participants were 300 million and 145 million, respectively, or 445 million combined. What makes this significant for gamers is that the software is an important part of the experience for lots of players as it lets people connect remotely. Digital relays aren’t new - 2,030 entered a mobile game relay in 2011, for example – yet the glitches made them challenging.

With the technology riding the crest of a wave, it’s not astonishing that mobile gaming numbers appear to be mirroring the trend because a community, digital or otherwise, is an integral part of the experience.

Gaming & iGaming Transition

The terms are similar, but there are several differences between the sectors. As rivals, they have been competing against one another for the best part of a decade in an attempt to retain their market share. Mobile gaming is challenging its traditional counterpart thanks to the considerable progress it has made, especially in iGaming.

Internet wagering has transformed into a global activity that is worth billions of dollars, with the games helping the establishments lead the charge. For example, the introduction of live dealer software ensures the likes of blackjack and poker are authentic and reflect a real-life environment since the stream sends a feed of croupiers from land-based establishments back to remote audiences. Bingo, meanwhile, is experiencing a strong recovery after a drop-off in the 2000s, and slot machines remain the biggest earners for casinos. Plus, the fact that slot games use themes from popular culture, such as Gordon Ramsay Hell’s Kitchen Video Slot, and combine with other offerings, as with Slingos, has enhanced the growth by making the offerings bold and ambitious, making them synonymous with good times.

There are signs that gaming and iGaming are beginning to work together and dovetail harmoniously because Microsoft has released the xCloud, allowing players to access a range of titles on their devices. Console libraries also include casino games, making it simpler for players to switch between their favorite releases. With consoles having to cover the iGaming market, a large amount of traffic has hit mobile platforms in 2021.

Asia’s Level Up

Asia is already the largest mobile gaming market in the world, with China accounting for 61% of the revenue for the region. But there has been rapid growth recently, and more is expected since not everyone in the area currently has access to the internet.

In 2025, for instance, the Asia-Pacific region is projected to have 663 million new mobile internet users, which is over half a billion people in fewer than four years. Seeing as 62% of people install a game on their phone within a week of owning it, it’s logical to assume that the estimated growth will represent an influx of mobile gamers.

2021 has been an excellent year for gaming in general. However, the mobile market has benefited the most by leveraging hosting apps, targeting expansion in Asia, and working with traditional gaming giants to improve its position in the industry. 

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