The mobile gaming market is already bigger than the combined console and PC gaming markets so, consequently, mobile gaming expertise is a must-have for all game companies, say analysts, GlobalData.

The research firm’s latest thematic report – Mobile Gaming – reveals that mobile gaming revenue was worth $124-billion in 2023 and will grow to $195-billion by 2030.

“Mobile gaming revenue grew by 25% in 2020 from the previous year and by a further 10% in 2021,” says Rupantar Guha, principal analyst at GlobalData’s Thematic Intelligence. “However, in 2022, annual growth dropped to just 3% as rising inflation hit consumer spending. The market showed signs of recovery in 2023 with revenue increasing by 6% compared to 2022.”

The growing maturity of streaming (supported by 5G), cloud gaming and mobile esports, combined with the fact that mobile platforms are close to technological parity with PCs and consoles, means most gamers will embrace mobile gaming in the next few years. The ability to run high-quality, big-budget games like Resident Evil 4 and Assassin’s Creed Mirage on mobile platforms will attract more publishers and gamers.

“Due to its lucrative revenue prospects, console and PC game publishers such as Activision Blizzard (owned by Microsoft) and Take-Two Interactive are heavily focused on mobile gaming,” says Guha. “In addition, video streaming services such as Netflix and online advertisers are also in the race.”

Mobile gaming is a heavily contested market with a diverse range of companies jockeying for positions. However, mobile gaming companies are under pressure in several areas – especially regulation.

“Regulation will continue to be a disruptive threat for the foreseeable future,” says Guha. “In 2023, China’s draft regulation to curb in-game spending wiped $80-billion in market value from Tencent and NetEase. Regulations around in-app purchases, data privacy, child safety, antitrust, artificial intelligence (AI) and app store commissions will continue to impact all mobile gaming companies.”