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It’s happening: The mobile gaming market is set to surpass that of the traditional console to become the largest gaming segment by revenues next year. According to Q3 2014 estimates released by Newzoo in October 2014, revised upward from Q1 2014, mobile game revenues will rise 42% year over year to hit $25.0 billion in 2014. Next year, the total will come in at $30.3 billion.
Newzoo forecast that mobile gaming revenues would reach $40.9 billion in 2017. Smartphones will account for the majority of the total throughout the forecast period, but tablets are increasing their revenues at a faster pace. Mobile gaming revenues on the larger-screen devices will rise at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 33.3% between 2013 and 2017, compared with a 19.2% CAGR for smartphones.
However, the smartphone gaming audience will see faster growth in 2014 and all the way through 2018. This year, eMarketer expects the number of US smartphone gamers to rise by nearly 20% to 116.0 million, representing 70.2% of smartphone users. Meanwhile, following impressive 47.8% growth in 2013, the US tablet gaming audience will increase just over 14% to hit 106.5 million, or 72.4% of tablet users.
Mobile players spend an average $4.58 monthly on games, according to data released in October 2014 by Everyplay. Those ages 35 to 44 were the biggest spenders, dropping over $6 each month on games, while the youngest adults held back on purchases the most.
While mobile gamers were most likely to use Android phones and tablets (46% of respondents), average monthly spending was higher on iOS devices, used by 40% of total players. In fact, mobile gamers on iPhones and iPads spent nearly $2 more on games each month than Android users, on average. The real spenders, though, were the 14% of users who gamed on both operating systems.
Younger gamers may spend the least each month, but that doesn’t mean they’re not downloading games. The 18-to-24 age group downloaded the most games on a monthly basis, with an average of 2.87. Still, this wasn’t a huge lead, with other age groups coming in at 2.61 or above. Males and females were pretty close in monthly downloads, at 2.92 and 2.64, as were Android and iOS users (2.56 and 2.69). But once again, combo users were way ahead, downloading an average 3.81 mobile games every month.
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