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How Mobile Gaming Has Rocketed During Lockdown

For many of us, habits have drastically changed during lockdown. We’re finding new business opportunities, new exercise regimes, new hobbies and for many of us, more time than ever before.

In the case of the latter two, that’s led to an explosion in mobile gaming. Despite its already meteoric rise, mobile gaming has risen to new heights during the coronavirus pandemic, as people of all generations look to keep themselves entertained while the rest of the world is closed.

While many industries have seen a positive impact from a tragic situation, few can compete with the way the mobile gaming industry has risen. It’s kept people entertained, and made many developers wealthy along the way.

But why? Why has mobile enjoyed such a sharp rise, and can it sustain that?
Already A Huge Audience

Mobile gaming has long been a growing industry and today is worth $77.2billion according to newzoo, double that of console.

The reason that the industry on mobile is benefitting much more than console game is ultimately down to the starting point.

There are over two billion smartphone owners worldwide, and it’s likely that 90% of those rely on their devices for almost everything. Therefore, it makes it a natural step for us to turn to our mobile for entertainment at a time we need it. Especially when you can download an app for free compared to the cost of a console and games.

Due to that audience that already exists, and the knowledge of how to download apps and use the App Store, more of us are turning to mobile gaming to get our kicks, even if we’d never played a mobile game before.

Have you played a mobile game during lockdown?

Yes
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The loss of hobbies outside of the virtual world has left holes in our social lives and need for entertainment. Now, the vast majority aren’t going to then go out and buy a console, particularly during a time when money is tight for many.

So it’s perhaps no surprise to see that mobile game downloads shot up 39% in February, and it’s been consistent in its rise ever since.

Across the board there have been rises in digital activity, with even 16% of 55-73 year-olds trying a new video gaming service. That number is significantly higher for mobile gaming, and that’s not only down to price, but the variation in games mobile offers.
Variety – The Spice of Life
You can play almost any type of game around on your mobile browser or via an app, which has proven valuable when many venues for entertainment have been closed.

For example, with bingo halls closed for periods up and down the country, the popularity of bingo for mobile surged. There have been some pretty innovative ways to play offline, but people have flocked in the thousands to bingo sites, with it reported the industry saw a 30% increase in players during lockdown. A large portion of those came from the generation in which would be out playing bingo socially of an evening.

The ability to appeal to all generations has been integral in the rapid rise of mobile gaming during lockdown. To continue hobbies and interests, boomers are turning to online bingo sites in order to not only stay entertained, but stick with some form of routine during difficult times.

It’s a similar story with the likes of casino, and even quiz apps, which also carry the social element if you play along with friends.

Alongside this, you’ll also find puzzles, strategy games, sports games and games that can compete graphically with consoles. Mobile really does have everything.

That has led to a surge in spending within app stores, with a huge rise since the beginning of COVID-19 according to the Financial Times.

That is starting to level off now, which begs the question, can it continue in the same way?
Can Mobile Gaming Continue Dominance Post-Lockdown?
But while mobile gaming has surpassed console and will continue to do so, the next step for mobile gaming is keeping those customers.

Bingo sites have so far managed to do so, despite the reopening of bingo halls. The variations and prizes on offer has largely allowed major sites to retain those customers and in the short-term continue to grow.

The same applies to other forms of games for the time being, but over-time, it is unsure as to whether those playing to simply pass time are fully invested in mobile play for that to continue.

One thing is for sure though, mobile gaming will continue to rise, thanks to its ingenuity, variation and entertainment, it’s just how fast it will happen and what shape the next big thing in mobile gaming will take.

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