Smartphones blow away traditional handheld gaming devices

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These are looking pretty outdated lately.
These are looking pretty outdated lately.
Photo: Daveynin/FlickrCC

Mobile games — especially those with a multiplayer component — are making more money than traditional handheld games, says a new report by mobile analytics agency, App Annie. The company partnered with the International Data Corporation to show the growth in mobile gaming over the past year, and how it’s skews toward mobile and multiplayer gaming.

Poor console makers; they hardly knew what hit them. While they still have life in them, and the games tend to be deeper and of a higher quality, it seems as if most gamers would rather just play on the device they already have with them; their iPhone or iPad.

Consumer spending in the mobile gaming arena is growing by leaps and bounds, while mobile gamers are spending more time and more money on multiplayer mobile gaming than ever before. Even Nintendo, a holdout in the race to mobile by big console companies, partnered with multiplayer mobile gaming juggernaut DeNA recently to bring its iconic characters like Mario, Link, and Pokemon to mobile devices.

Incredible growth seen here on mobile platforms.
Incredible growth seen here on mobile platforms.
Photo: App Annie

Ouch, right? iOS App Store game consumer spending grew around 30 percent and Google Play game spending grew a whopping 50 percent between 2014 and 2015.

Compare that to the flat sales growth of traditional handheld gaming devices like Sony’s PS Vita and Nintendo’s 3DS during the same period. No wonder they’re looking for new ways to make money.

The report defines online multiplayer as “any game that includes features by which player’s gameplay materially and directly affects the gameplay and in-game outcomes of another player,” which includes real-time multiplayer games like Vainglory as well as asynchronous title like Clash of Clans.

Still, the report shows a significant increase in consumer engagement as well as spending with these types of games.

“Among the Top 50 mobile games,” says the report, “multiplayer games accounted for ~60% of consumer spending despite only contributing ~30% of downloads in 1Q15.”

That’s a lot of spending across a fewer number of downloads. Not bad if you’re the ones making the games being downloaded onto smartphones.

Source: App Annie