Online Gaming’s Onward March to Total Domination

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There’s a pretty good chance the gentleman sitting in the corner of Starbucks fiddling with his iPad is actually playing Candy Crush instead of reading over the day’s news. That girl sitting across from you on the bus? Likely figuring out which series of letters will score her the most points in “Words with Friends” rather than sending out an important text. And who needs to read that latest e-book when you could be flinging disgruntled fowl at green piggies on that new tablet you just picked up?

Mobile gaming is on the rise. According to a Gamesbeat report on the growth of mobile gaming, the mobile portion of the global game market is expected to to hit $86.1 billion in the next three years. That’s an annual growth rate of about 6.7 percent between now and 2016. No matter what business you’re in, those are some pretty nice figures to see on an annual report. Today, more than ever, gaming on the go is a viable option thanks to upgrades in technology and pocket-sized telephones that have the computing power of a decent home PC. What else are you going to do while waiting in line at the DMV? Might as well get in a few rounds of Cut the Rope, right?

Mobile gaming on the rise

Games give people a way to escape from the hustle and bustle of the everyday world and, with today’s latest tech toys, people are finding ways to make that sort of escape a reality. Gamesbeat estimates the number of gamers is also expected to rise from 1.21 billion to 1.55 billion in the next year, all due to the increased availability and dropping cost of the latest smartphones and tablets. As more people get these devices in their hands, more developers will continue to pump out new and interesting games for their ever-expanding audience to try out. Drop by a site such as iWin.com download games, and you’ll see their library of offerings is growing on a daily basis.

More signs of growth

According to report from App Annie & International Data Corporation, gaming in the portable and mobile markets will grow by 55 percent in next year, reaching 1.2 billion in 2014. The study found freemium (play some for free, pay for the rest if you like it) and free-to-play (play for free, and get additional goodies for a small fee) gaming are the driving forces in this movement. Non-gamers are more willing to try out a title if they don’t have to spend any money up-front, and once you’ve hooked them, there’s a good chance to reel in a new loyal customer.

A brand new audience

While a large number of core gamers consider mobile gaming to be second-class compared to their beloved consoles and PCs, they might very well be singing a different tune in the coming years. Second screen gaming is becoming a stronger force with the current generation of hardware and, once the new consoles (PlayStation 4, Xbox One) get here in November, it’s expected multi-screen gaming will become an even greater focus.

According to a Newzoo study on the global monetization of games, the number of gamers in the U.S. and Europe is increasing rapidly, with the biggest shift occurring in those 50 years of age or older. And not only is there a huge upswing in the number of older gamers, but the same report highlights only 15 percent of the world’s population is generating 74 percent of gaming revenues.

In other words, despite the wild success of mobile gaming today, there’s only room to grow in the coming years. More core gamers will come on board as multi-screen gaming becomes more commonplace, older consumers are getting into games these days, and even more people are going to have access to gaming phones and tablets.

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