Editorial

How wide is the gap between console and Mobile Gaming?

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On the face of it, it appears as though there are multiple differences between mobile, and traditional gaming mediums. After all, we are constantly told that mobile gaming remains fixed on an upward curve, while console and desktop games are painted as archaic platforms that are now to be considered as moribund.

Recent data has cast doubt over this commonly-accepted assertion, however, with individuals who spend heavily on mobile games part of the same, core demographic that invests through traditional platforms. This suggests that while mobile players are considered to part of a new generational breed, they have in fact evolved from the same group of players that are active on desktops and consoles.

In terms of core numbers, the research team at Newzoo has revealed that there are an estimated 50 million big spenders in the U.S. and this equates to a little less than 3% of all mobile players. These players spend more than $25 per month on gaming, while the data also suggests that they invest heavily through more traditional channels such as console and PC. In this respect, it is the outlook of each individual player that becomes more influential than the specific medium in question.

So with this in mind, who are these big spenders across mobile and traditional gaming platforms? The recent study confirms that 67% of this demographic are male and aged between 21 and 35, while they tend to boast a broad interest in multiple gaming channels and segments. In fact, 71% of this demographic also spend large amounts on console gaming each year, while a further 69% commit their hard-earned funds to the desktop market. Here we can see the rising popularity of cross-platform gaming, and this perhaps offers the most telling insight into future market expansion.

Mobile gaming is undoubtedly leading this market trend, with gaming platforms such as Betfair roulette seeing huge growth. Developers are now breaking down traditional gaming barriers and create cross-platform experiences that offer flexibility, choice and adventure in equal measure. We have seen in two of the most talked-about console releases for 2016, with Hitman: Agent 47 boasting a flexible, episodic format that is upgraded monthly and GTA V Online DLC integrated live, online casino games where players can wager real money.

With this in mind, it is relatively obvious that the game between mobile and console platforms (and particularly core playing demographics) is smaller than it may seem. It is also clear that mobile gaming and its underlying business model is affecting change within more traditional markets, as desktop and console developers do away with subscription-based titles and embrace various formats.

So we are left with a market that is increasingly driven by cross-platform gaming, with mobile technology and trends providing a clear and progressive focal point. We should expect this trend to continue in 2016, as the boundaries between distinct gaming segments continue to blur and shift simultaneously.

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