Did you know that the value of the gaming market is projected to increase from $198.40 billion in 2021 to $339.95 billion in 2027? That’s an incredible CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 8.94%

With the total number of internet users up 4%, reaching 4,950 million unique users in January 2022, there’s growing potential for publishers and advertisers to monetise their inventory and content! When it comes to mobile gaming, smartphones dominate; as if that wasn’t impressive enough, mobile gaming massively overshadows even traditional console and PC gaming. Technological leaps in cloud gaming, AR (think Pokémon Go and Ingress) and VR experiences will only increase mobile gaming’s already significant pull factor, with the immersive and innovative gaming experiences that they promise. Maybe you’re considering making the leap and advertising in mobile gaming apps; but you might be asking yourselves “where do we even start?”. Keep reading to find out!

Getting the Target Audience Right

We hope that by now we’ve helped dispel myths about who a gamer is (check out our RadioDays blog and a recording of Paul Cranwell’s presentation). But it can’t be said enough: in-game ads would do well to appeal more to women. Why? Well, apart from the average gamer being a 34 year old woman, who has children and owns her own home, research has found that only 3.3% of men pay for in-app mobile gaming content, compared to 4.5% of their women counterparts. Be mindful of stereotypes that may lead you to focus exclusively on marketing disproportionately to men!

2022 Trends We Shouldn’t Ignore

Market Leaders – Global

Within the general gaming market, the top five major players are Sony, followed by Microsoft, Apple, Google and finally Bandai Namco Entertainment Inc. There are also a number of key acquisitions and partnerships underway, including Sega x Microsoft and their ‘Super Games’ platform, Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard, Sony’s acquisition of Haven Entertainment Studios, and the launch of Valve x Advanced Micro Devices’ ‘Steam Deck’ for handheld gaming, among others. 

Growth in Asia-Pacific

Asia-Pacific, and in particular, China, Japan, and South Korea hold the largest market share in the gaming industry. While other gaming industries are declining slightly following the COVID-spike, the Southeast Asian market is showing no sign of slowing down, thanks to partnerships with social media influencers, in-app ads, and a rise in esports viewership in Indonesia, Vietnam and Malaysia. 

82% of Southeast Asia’s population that live in urban areas and have access to the internet are also gamers, predominantly mobile gamers. Of this gaming population, 55% are aged 55 and older, with teen gamers making up only 8% of the gaming demographic. The mobile gaming population in this region is expected to grow by 250 million people. The Southeast Asian gaming market is projected to register a CAGR of 8.5% over the next 3 years. Advertisers and publishers would do well not to ignore this growing market.

Market Leaders in Asia-Pacific

The gaming market in Asia-Pacific is fairly fragmented, and the market is fairly competitive. The current market leaders are: Sony, Asiasoft, IGG Inc, com2uS Corporation and Nintendo.

Growth in Latin America

According to an Ericsson report, Latin America’s smartphone subscription will reach 690 million unique users in 2024. GSMA 2021 data predicts that Latin America will have 422 million new mobile internet users by 2025. With increasing access to the internet and smartphone usership in Latin America, the region’s mobile gaming market is forecasted to reach a 10.5% CAGR rate by 2026. The market in Brazil is currently worth over $1.48 billion, followed by Argentina at $446 million. Argentina’s Ministry of Culture notes that 60% of Argentinian gamers  prefer to play on the go on their smartphones

Brazil has invested $35.25 million into its gaming industry, following a 28% increase in Brazil’s gaming population. It may also be worth noting that a higher proportion of Brazil’s population (over 1 in 5) are young compared to other countries like the US and UK, which may partially skew Brazil’s ideal target audience to a younger demographic than the global average of 34 years.

Market Leaders in Latin America

The Latin American mobile gaming market is moderately consolidated, dominated by 5 or more major players. The top 5 leaders in the region include: Konami, followed by Riot Games Inc., Tapps Games, Epic Games Inc, and Activision Publishing Inc.

Activision has collaborated with Tencent to launch Call of Duty for mobile players, including in Latin America to try and obtain a competitive advantage over other vendors.  

Market Leaders in Mobile Gaming

iOS or Android? 

In terms of mobile gaming in particular, Android holds a significant market share. The mobile gaming market is fairly fragmented, and fairly competitive market without very dominant players or monopolies on the market; having said this, the current leading market players are Tencent Holdings Limited, Activision Blizzard Inc, Nintendo, Zynga Co Ltd, and SoftBank Group’s GungHo Online Entertainment Inc

Increasingly, major streaming and social media platforms like Netflix, Meta and Instagram are dabbling in android mobile games, for example, Netflix’s “Stranger Things: 1984,” “Stranger Things 3: The Game,” “Shooting Hoops,” “Card Blast” and a few others were made available to subscribers. It looks like Android is the way to go for the foreseeable future!

The Biggest Publishers in the Industry & Monetisation

5%, or 8797 out of 161,440 game publishers on Google Play are US-based, of which Roblox Corporation, Lion Studios, i6 Games, Imangi Studios, Ivy, Niantic Inc Play365, Lowtech Studios, DVloper and Oppana Games are some of the leaders.

13% of all published games are paid for in the US, and mobile games in particular account for most of this figure. The national average of in-game purchases is 21% across gaming in general; by contrast, in-app payments in mobile games monetise 35% of published games in the US.

Fascinated by these statistics and curious about how other global regions compare? Stay tuned for our next blog on the Global Gaming Market, where we focus on the MENA region and Africa.