Mobile Game Market to Reach $11.4 Billion in 2014, Says Gartner


The mobile gaming market will continue to see
steady growth through 2014, when the market is projected to reach $11.4
billion. Worldwide mobile gaming end-user revenue is expected to surpass $5.6
billion in 2010, a 19 percent increase from 2009 revenue of $4.7
billion, according to Gartner, Inc.

Gartner estimates 70 percent to 80 percent of all mobile
consumer applications downloaded are mobile games. Moreover, 60 percent
to 70 percent of these downloaded games are “free.” This trend is
expected to continue for the next two to three years.

Other factors that are boosting the global popularity of mobile
gaming include the increasing accessibility of mobile games in emerging
markets, where alternative gaming media are limited. The growing
availability of micropayments for mobile gamers attracts users
previously wary of investing larger amounts of money upfront to try out a
game and also attracts groups whose disposable income is limited.

“The hype around mobile application stores has opened this market up
to numerous publishers and developers - further expanding revenue
potential and competition in this industry,” said Tuong Nguyen,
principal research analyst at Gartner. “Although we expect most mobile
gamers to continue to gravitate toward ‘free’ games, we do not expect
the ad-supported model to take off within the next three years - despite
the success we have seen with this approach in the Japanese market.”

Improved user interfaces are a top priority for handset vendors as a
competitive differentiator. A growing number of devices are implementing
touchscreens and gesture, and enhanced qwerty keyboards will also
improve the end-user experience. Furthermore, an increasing number of
games are taking advantage of existing device features, such as camera,
GPS and accelerometers, to enhance game play.

Communications service providers (CSPs) are also
facilitating mobile gaming growth by improving ease of use and access
for consumers. Direct billing is one of the most significant value-adds
that CSPs can provide their partners - allowing consumers to charge
purchases directly to their wireless bills. Improvements to boost access
to mobile games via search and recommendation engines will also improve
take rates for mobile gaming, while more-competitive data pricing will
lower barriers to adoption.

“Mobile gaming will remain an important component of consumers’
value-added service offerings, as well as a revenue driver for CSPs,”
Mr. Nguyen said. “On the high end, consumers will benefit from
more-robust devices, such as smartphones, better cameras, more brilliant
displays and increased processing power, to improve the gaming
experience. Users from developing markets will also benefit as
more-capable phones move down-market. Moreover, as more devices become
connected, consumer electronic devices, such as tablets and portable
gaming consoles, will join this space, adding another aspect to the

The popularity of application stores has also increased
competition for market share in the developer space by lowering the
barriers of entry for developers. Mobile carriers and application store
owners both have the opportunity to take advantage of this enthusiasm to
expand their mobile gaming offerings to their customers. Developers
themselves can also take advantage of this to increase their negotiation
power, as well as their channel options.

Additional information is available in the report
“Market Insight: Mobile Gaming Expectations Boosted on Application Store
and Smartphone Popularity” which is available on the Gartner website at