With the increasing prevalence of digitalization and the increasing opportunities it provides to both developers and consumers, the mobile game market has gained rapid momentum all over the world. In particular, we can accept that mobile technologies have started to touch people in almost every aspect of life as one of the most important breaking points in this process.
At the point reached today, it would not be wrong to say that games attract the attention of people from all walks of society. As a matter of fact, the results of the Populus-Ofcom Gaming Survey, which revealed that more than half of adults living in the UK played games last year, support this point of view.
Changes on the playing field had already begun to show in the few years before the pandemic. However, we witnessed even more remarkable developments in 2020, with more than three-quarters in the shadow of the pandemic. For example, while watching videos in the gaming category on YouTube reached 100 billion hours in 2020, the number of subscribers to channels that offer content in this field also increased significantly.
In the past year, the most striking title among mobile applications was the game category. According to the article in Think With Google, while mobile downloads increased by 15 percent in the world in the first quarter of 2020, the download rate of mobile games increased by 30 percent only between March and July. According to the results of yet another research report, it is predicted that mobile games will represent more than 50 percent of the global gaming industry by next year (Newzoo Global Gaming Market Report). One of the most important factors supporting this is widespread smartphone ownership.
The mobile game industry provides serious advantages for application developers in rapidly opening up to international markets. Today, thanks to the opportunities provided by digitalization, a developer in any province of Europe can easily deliver their games to users all over the world. For example, with tools such as Market Finder for Apps offered by Google, developers can use detailed market analyses to create their global business plans and identify the most suitable potential markets more easily.
New dynamics in the market
The study by OC&C Strategy Consultants and Google reveals some determinations about the general situation of the gaming industry.
With the increasing adoption of digital sales and distribution, physical game sales are declining. In this context, it is important for publishers to prioritize digital distribution while determining their marketing strategies. Similarly, changing revenue models affects the lifecycle and game mechanics of games. Free-to-play revenue models pioneered by mobile games continue to attract attention, with the adoption of the micro-shopping model of multiple game series across all platforms.
The conditions created by the quarantine period have also developed the tendency for people to use games as a means of socialization, as well as their individual behaviors such as watching movies and TV series. Virtual playgrounds with a large user base also function as meeting areas where players socialize, just like virtual concerts. We can expect game developers to evaluate these new dynamics and possibilities in the coming period.
Finally, we can say that cloud gaming platforms will bring the biggest change in the next stage in this field. It will play an important role on the road to separation from the competition and success.
European area has become one of the remarkable countries in terms of its potential in this field, both with consumers’ interest in games and the rapid acceleration that the game ecosystem has gained in the last few years. The process that started with the pandemic brought with it a series of results in which important developments were experienced in terms of the game market in our country, just like in the world. The extremely interesting results in the “Gaming Industry 2020 Report” prepared by Gaming in Europe confirm this situation.
According to the report, which reveals that the pandemic has increased the growth rate of the industry, the acquisition of Peak Games ($ 1.8 billion) and Rollic Games ($ 168 million) by the US game company Zynga in Europe stood out as the striking events of the past year. In the first three quarters of the year, the share sales transactions in the gaming sector created a volume of approximately 2 billion dollars, while the game was the sector that received the most investment.
While game playing times increased by 30% in 2020 compared to the previous year, the number of players in Europe increased from 32 million to 36 million, and the sector size reached 880 million dollars from 830 million dollars. It is estimated that 450 million dollars of this revenue belongs to the mobile games market.
According to the report, the favorite game genres of mobile players in Europe are action and adventure at 49.2%, puzzle at 46.2 percent, and racing games with 45.7%. There are 35 million mobile players, 22 million computer players and 17 million console players in our country. The ratio of male players to the total is 55 percent, that is, women are almost as active as men in the gamer world. In Europe, the number of people who play games on the phone at least once a day has increased to 65 percent, while the proportion of adults who play mobile games is 79 percent. If we recall the previous UK example (over 50 percent), this result is even more interesting. coming out.
One of the data in the “Europe Game Industry 2022 Report” and pointing to European’s potential is the user scores of the games on the Google Play platform. The average score of over 8 thousand games belonging to 2,689 European publishers, which are among approximately 172 thousand game publishers, is 3.94 out of 5. This score shows that the games of European publishers are liked above the general average (3.76) and are successful in this respect.
All these developments clearly reveal the potential of Europe in the gaming industry. At Google, we carry out various collaborations and programs to support the realization of this great potential. In this context, we launched the Gaming Growth Lab, Google’s first virtual game development laboratory, in 2020. Within the scope of this acceleration program, which targets 20 startups with high potential in Eırope, various trainings on game development and being successful in the sector, and mentorship support by industry professionals were provided to the participants.
Another recent support for the growth of the mobile game ecosystem, which has achieved rapid development momentum, was the Game Factory Booster program initiated by Google and Game Factory. Game Factory aims to support early-stage mobile game startups. In this framework, all teams that can create a prototype game, want to develop it, and are self-confident have been included in this program, which will continue between December 2020 and June 2021.
Within the scope of Game Factory Booster, game startups with high development potential benefit from comprehensive online training and mentoring supports specially prepared for them for six months, from start to graduation and demo day.
As you can see; Considering the intense interest of consumers of all ages, our increasingly successful startups and the export potential it carries, the contribution that the game ecosystem can make to Europe is clear. For this reason, it is critical that we continue to support this ecosystem in four ways so that our country has a say in this global league that has already turned into a giant economy and continues to grow.
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