A look in the Rear-view Mirror: Historical Observations from the Asian Mobile Gaming Market

Mobile Game Development and Asian Market: Solid Revenue Prospects (a look in the rear-view mirror)

“By definition, a mobile game is one that can be played in multiple location and while moving.” – Kurt Uhlir on Mobile Game Dev SIG forum

The following is a “look in the rear-view mirror” from our first edition of Mobile Gaming Asia research.

Mobile games are usually downloaded via the mobile operator’s radio network, but in some cases are also loaded into the mobile handsets when purchased, via infrared connection, Bluetooth, or memory card. Mobile games are played using the technologies present on the device itself. The recent trend is networked games, game download from app store, MMG (multiplayer game). The Apple iOS, Android, Windows platform are the market leader in this sense. Historically The first two-player game for mobile phones was a variant of the Snake game for the Nokia 6110, using the infrared port. The things has been developed much, even its moving toward “Gamification” trend – a convergence of mobile game and brand communication. by 2014, a gamified service for consumer goods marketing and customer retention will become as important as Facebook, eBay or Amazon, and more than 70% of Global 2000 organizations will have at least one gamified application.” Since the emergence of mobile gaming, the platform has experienced dynamic technological improvement, and new market player. Apart from the current leader it is assumed that Gecko (B2G), Aliyun OS, Tizen, Meltemi platform and mobile cloud (a $9.5 Billion market size) will be a threat for Android and Apple iOS in 2012. Current market stakes based on platforms are given below:

But the noticeable matter is, Android’s success has yielded something else: a hostile, organized campaign against Android by Microsoft, Oracle, Apple, and other companies, waged through “bogus patents,” even thought patents were meant to encourage innovation initially, but lately they are being used as a weapon to stop it.

In terms of market size mobile gaming is enjoying a solid growth both in revenue and market share. It is estimated to hit $54 Billion global market value by 2015. Among them the Asian region leads the mobile gaming market with approximately 40% market stake. The greater APAC region and emerging giant Middle East holds a sharp rise. The main reason is giant mobile-centric markets including Japan, China, and Indonesia. Just to name a few of the major mobile game entities in the region, there are GREE, DeNA’s Mobage, Tencent, mig33, and many others who are working to get into this space. A couple of years back, the mobile gaming platforms in Asia were very fragmented and targeted only at their own countries. Things are more or less the same today, but many of the companies have just started to push for overseas markets, marking an important shift in the region. The noticeable shift is Tencent-GREE-mig33 alliance for Japan, China & Indonesia with 800 million users.

The largest market, Asia/Pacific is $18.8 billion and growing by 10% CAGR each year.

Key market facts are very interesting:

  • Mobile entertainment to generate $32 B
  • 16.5 % of mobile users spent over $100 in app stores
  • 68 % of Taiwanese have used cell phone on a toilet
  • 4.5 B mobile users by 2013
  • Mobile phone demand to grow 11%
  • 23 %  of all mobile users to use mobile social networks by 2012
  • Mobile marketing budget percentages to grow 150% by 2013

Average Price per game downloads:

  • Vodacom SA is 30 % of the blended ARPU (USD 14)
  • Etisalat UAE accounts for 22 % of the blended ARPU
  • Korea is 10% of blended ARPU USD 30

To know more about Mobile Gaming opportunities in Asia, technology platform analysis, new media and its dynamics, Asian country wise growth prospect, operator wise prospect, mobile gaming value chain chain analysis and how to tap the opportunity, please see:


About Mind Commerce

Analysis of telecom and ICT infrastructure, technologies, and applications.
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