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Market in Mobile Games?

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Is there a market in mobile games? ive read articles on the net saying that mobile games is the next best thing. Is there any numbers to prove it? Ive ask some of my gamer friends and argue on what is the importance of playing games in mobile coz mobile phones has limitations like battery power, speed and stuff thanks

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Yes there is absolutely a market for mobile phone games and it is only getting bigger. I can't offer you any figures right now but grab any TV/movies/games/entertainment/etc magazine flick through and see it how many different full pages adds there are for websites offering tones, graphics and java games. Look at how much they are charging for each game in relation to the ringtones etc. Here's something to help give you a picture: I distribute my own phone games for free via getjar.com and each game gets at least 200 downloads a day (obviously it would be less if I was charging but at the same it would also be more if I could afford these massive advertising schemes).
6 games * 200 downloads * 7 days * £4 = £33600 a week
Even after overheads that would still be a VERY nice profit.

While mobile phones are far more limited in their power than your console or pc they offer somethings that no other platform does
- a huge target audience that already has the hardware and isn't going away
- the ability to play games any time, any where
- direct, quick, easy downloads
- Java - you all know java and why it's good, write a game for one phone and easily adapted to another model

With this boom in phone games there has been a bit of a return to the golden age of the bedroom programmer where one skilled programmer could turn out a hit game on their own in a matter of weeks but this period is rapidly fading away again due to the big players taking interest and flooding the market with games based on big franchises (eg Splinter Cell, Driver 3) which the little guys simply cannot compete with (eg your 15 y/o and can only afford one game this week for your phone - do you buy the game that's sound original but you haven't heard off or do you buy Fifa 2004?).

If you want more proof, have a look at games industry recruitment sites and see just how many new jobs in the wireless market are appearing.

Okay so the kids aren't going to be trading in their Xbox for their Nokia but it is a booming industry. If you're thinking about getting it, my advice is do it now.

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The market for mobile games is growing fast as voices says..but when the market becomes saturated then games of quality will stand out more and more. Also remember, that the 3g game market will begin to pick up within the next 2 years (predicted to be mass-market in 2007),therefore, games will have to have more depth and will probably incorporate multiplayer/community aspects that the consoles/pc are enjoying at the moment. Interesting times are ahead for the mobile gaming industry and in the future a player will be able to play against/with anyone else the same game at the same time, regardless the device they are playing on.

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"I distribute my own phone games for free via getjar.com and each game gets at least 200 downloads a day (obviously it would be less if I was charging but at the same it would also be more if I could afford these massive advertising schemes)."

Just wanted to give you a clue on how different the figures can be if you charge money:
A friend of mine distributes an application (not a game though) through handango.
While the free demo is downloaded at a rate of 500 a day, the buy/demo ratio is around 1/1000. That is 1 buy for each 1000 downloads.

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By "mobile games", do you mean mobile non-console games (e.g. wireless, cell phone, etc.), mobile console games (e.g. GBA, DS, PSP) or both?

Here are a few public stats and sources for the non-console mobile games. When looking at any "numbers" on the mobile or fixed gaming industry, it is a good idea to make sure you know what is included (e.g. software only, hardware only, both, other).

===================
Quotes from In-Stat/MDR:

"There are currently 18.7 million wireless gamers in the U.S., up from 10.6 million in 2003. That figure will further increase to 27.3 million in 2005."

"7.9 percent of all U.S. subscribers will download a game onto their mobile phones in 2004"

Source 1
===================

Quote from Frost & Sullivan:
"European mobile gaming market from just under $800.79 million in 2002 to just below $7 billion in 2006"

Source 1
Source 2

===================

"Visiongain expects the market to grow rapidly from an estimated value of €1.2 billion in 2004 to over €8.38 billion in 2009."
*includes mobile console games (e.g. GBA)
Source 1
===================

"In 2002, the estimated total turnover of computer game markets was USD ~20 billions, out of which mobile games represented roughly ~USD 0.9 Bn"

"Strategy Analytics12 predicted that the mobile game market would grow to $7 billion by 2008."

"The ARC Group13 forecast that number of worldwide mobile game users will grow from 196 million in 2002 to 667 million in 2005."

"Informa Media Group14 has stated the mobile games segment of the videogames industry would comprise 11.7% by 2006."

Source 1 (pdf)
==================

"According to IDC, the wireless gaming market in Asia-Pacific, excluding Japan, is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 40%, from $237.4 mln last year to $1.3 bln in 2008."

Source 1
===================

"Right now, the market is about $200 million in the U.S. and about $600 million in Europe, Mr. O'Driscoll says. In 2003, worldwide mobile game sales totaled $1.1 billion, according to British research firm Arc Group."

Source 1
===================

The global mobile phone gaming market more than doubled in 2003 to $587 million from a year earlier and is expected to grow six-fold to $3.8 billion in 2007, according to estimates from Informa Media Research in London.

Source 1
===================

"U.S. mobile-gaming revenues are projected to more than double from $91.3 million in 2003 to $203.8 million in 2004, according to tech consultancy In-Stat/MDR."

Source 1
===================

Ovum (July 2002) predicts that wireless gaming over a cellular network will be worth U.S. $4.4 billion worldwide by 2006.

Source 1
===================

"The number of US households playing cell phone games doubled to 16.3 million in 2004 versus 8.1 million a year ago."

"The mobile gaming market is expecting a 6-fold growth over the next five years for downloadable games, generating 82 percent of an $8 billion market."

"Mobile entertainment publishers are clearly back in vogue as the number of Java and BREW capable handsets rises from 186 million units this year to over 1 billion units in 2009."

"In the five months leading up to May 2004, Verizon Wireless customers have downloaded more than 12 million games."

"Nearly 70% of video gamers own a cell phone and 50% play games on their mobile devices."

Source 1
Source 1
===================

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Quote:
Original post by evelyn
Some good links there bulldog232 - thx.


No problem. Those were the public stats that were easiest to summarize. It would be nice if we used this thread (or at least this forum) to consolidate projections on the mobile console and non-console markets.

All: Please post links and/or references to publicly available stats/reports on the mobile gaming industry as follow ups (now and in the future).


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Guest Anonymous Poster
Hi there,

interesting discussion here !

At the moment I am programming Series60 games in my spare time (just like Adiash) and intend to sell them and eventually to make it a day job if this works.

So we have a problem... There is all this buzz about wireless gaming, billions of dollars, blablabla, and on the other side, we can hear on this forum that on Handango someone is selling one game (or application, whatever) every two days... How to make a living of it ???

Who does live of selling through Handango ? Are all people like me, doing this as a hobby in their spare time ? I am quite puzzled.
The problem with portals in my case (I have a very high quality game) is I will be lost between hundreds or thousands of poor games...

Does this also mean that if you want to make a day job of it, then forget about internet portals and you have to work with operators/publishers (which is hard to succeed at) ?

Adiash, your game looks cool (I knew Evious from mobilegd.com where I was recently in touch with Civax). Is Evious a full time activity ? Can you live of it ?

If someone can bring their knowledge, it would be much appreciated.

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AP - Mmmnn..can't tell you anything about getting sales through Handango etc., however, I can tell you that if you do want to make it your 'day job' then I would seriously look into the pros and cons of setting yourself up as a bona-fide games company. However, if you go down this route then a lot of your time will be taken up getting your biz plan together, market forecasts, financials, etc and contacting, keeping and developing relationships with publishers etc if you want to reap the rewards through your hard efforts. There's no harm in showing your game to potential publishers/portals etc - even if you only get advice on how you can go about getting your game out there, but I think you'd need to have a clear idea in what you want to do yourself. The market in mobile games is growing at a phenoemenal rate and there's no better time than now to get into it.

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Quote:
Original post by evelyn The market in mobile games is growing at a phenoemenal rate and there's no better time than now to get into it.


However the situation is suspisously similar to the high-tech bubble just before the burst...

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