Mobile gaming is more popular than ever, proven by the fact that people spent over $200 million on Christmas day alone. The proliferation of smartphones has directly correlated to a change in how people play games, gone are the days of coin-swallowing arcades and to some extent, dedicated mobile game devices as well. Just last month, Sony CEO and President Jim Ryan said that PlayStation is done with making handheld devices.
Nintendo is the only game publisher today making proprietary mobile game devices, with the Nintendo Switch and the Nintendo Switch Lite. However, it was just a few years ago that Nintendo was in direct competition with Sony in the generation of Vita and 3DS, as well as before with the PSP and DS, two of the best selling game devices of all time. But as the market was flooded with smartphones, the two companies shifted to polarized business strategies, whereas Sony conceded their space, Nintendo persisted. That being said, Nintendo has also made a push towards releasing original IPs on other mobile devices, such as Mario Kart Tour on Android and iOS.
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The news that consumers spent over $200 million on Christmas day on mobile games come by way of data insight company Sensor Tower. According to their report, in total global app spending exceeded $277 million with $210 million on just games. PUBG was the highest-grossing app in terms of in-game spending with $8.5 million, while Tinder led the way for non-game apps with $2.1 million. Randy Nelson, head of mobile insights at Sensor Tower says that,
“With 2019 drawing to a close, overall spending on the App Store and Google Play both globally and in the U.S. has once again reached record levels.”
Some other key takeaways are that the United States’ growth margin was much smaller than the global market, with the U.S. at a 4.8% increase and the global market at 11.3%. The Apple app store processed 70% of app spending on Christmas day. Also, the projected end of month total gross for all mobile apps and games is over $5.1 billion.
Mobile games have long been associated with mechanisms designed to extract money from unsuspecting players. Just recently, Nintendo adjusted its smartphone games so players don’t spend too much money, but not every company has been so quick to add those restrictions. Many critics of mobile gaming argue that the monetization strategy has become predatory, taking advantage of kids who have little understanding of the value of real-world money. But from this report of historic spending on Christmas day, it doesn’t seem likely that consumers will stop any time soon.
Next: Angry Birds’ 10th Anniversary Feels Like A Fitting End to This Decade of Gaming
Source: Sensor Tower
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