Who will win the war for gaming revenue in Casual Gaming vs. Consoles?
First, what is “Casual Gaming”? The term has originated from the notion of people using browser based games (which are typically free or “freemium” games) on a non-gaming device (e.g. not a gaming specific console). A few consoles currently dominate the market incluiding WII, PlayStation, and Xbox.
Their dominance is at risk as the developing trend is towards free gaming with an upsell to “freemium” (e.g. paying for a better gaming experience) as gaming companies are realizing that ongoing subscription revenues are the better opportunity than a one-time game sale. Additionally, the lower threshold of playing for free from any device creates an environment in which distribution costs are significantly reduced.
Growth of smartphones and tablets provides a rising platform to reach more consumers as the number of people who have smartphones and tablets is several times larger than the installed base of three consoles combine.
Global spending on electronic games will reach $112.1 billion by 2015, , up from $70.1 billion in 2009.
Consumers in the U.S., United Kingdom, France, Australia, South Korea and Japan spent $21.5 billion on games and related hardware in 2012.
By 2016, the number of consumers playing video games on mobile phones and tablets in the U.S. will reach 174 million, up from 61.5 million in 2010.
The upcoming BRIC (Brazil, India, Russia and China), markets represent an especially appealing opportunity as rising standard of living in the BRIC region means that many more people who didn’t have access to games five years ago now have the financial capability of investing in games.
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