A marketer’s guide to the changing landscape of gaming

Worldwide consumer spending on mobile games soared by 35 per cent last year, according to research by Newzoo, commissioned by games company GameHouse. This rapid growth means mobile now accounts for 18 per cent of the global market, with people splashing out a total of $12.3bn (£8bn).

Consoles still make up the main market with a 43 per cent share, worth $30.6bn (£20.1bn) but this market is contracting – by 1 per cent last year.

GameHouse head of advertising for Europe Rumbi Pfende argues that the smartphone and mobile games industries have grown in sync with one another in recent years. “Gaming drove the mobiles we have today,” she suggests. “Phones are the size they are for entertainment purposes. It was gaming that drove the way they look and the functionality.”

The research shows that the second fastest growing type of game last year was MMO, or ‘massively multiplayer online’ games, which rose by 14 per cent to reach $14.9bn (£9.8bn).

These games include popular role-playing titles like World of Warcraft, which are supported by a loyal gaming fraternity. MMO title RuneScape launched 13 years ago but enjoyed its most profitable year ever last year. David Solari, chief marketing officer at the game’s developer Jagex, says that as the games market continues to expand across different platforms, the company will look at how it can extend its presence on social media and mobile.

“We’re very much core gamer-oriented,” he says. “But core gamers now engage on all types of platforms and we want to provide them with experiences across all those platforms.”

With the games market changing rapidly, marketers will need to keep a close eye on this fast-paced industry to make sure they invest in the platforms where gamers are spending their time and money.

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