2020 has been a huge year for gaming – and its not even halfway over. Mobile gaming has seen a huge increase, with players knowing what to expect from the industry, and technology never being stronger. But other forms of mobile entertainment have suffered, painting an effective picture of just what our mobile devices could and should be used for. So what’s hot and what’s not in mobile for 2020?
Hot for Mobile: Gaming
Reports indicate that 2020 so far has seen the biggest rise in mobile gaming in its history. Up to March, weekly downloads of games on mobile were up 35% (representing 1.2 billion), with many claiming that the format is becoming the preferred way of engaging with games. 2020 looks set to see mobile gaming having a nearly 3x lead over PC gaming.
It’s not just modern ways of gaming that are showing how dominating the mobile sphere is. As this up to date list of online casino bonuses shows, being able to offer mobile gaming options is a consideration when potential customers are evaluating which bonuses might suit them for each site. Moreover, Pokemon’s mobile offering, Pokemon Go continues to attract fans and boasts more players globally now than it did when it had its summer of success in 2016. Meanwhile mobile gaming with a twist, such as Zombies, Run! is using gamification to enhance physical exercise by having sporadic zombie chases that encourage users to run faster.
The largest market for mobile gaming is China – with 82% of gamers using mobile devices. The country is on track to generate 40% of global mobile gaming revenue. Stats suggest that by 2023, 586 million people in China will be mobile gamers. This could indicate that the western world will follow suit, and to match reports from 2020, will also see a greater proliferation of mobile gamers.
Not for Mobile: Quick Bite Entertainment
However, not all is rosy in the world of smartphones. Disney’s Jeffrey Katzenberg’s Quibi, whose aim is to tell shorter stories condensed into instalments of 5-8 minutes has not even achieved 30% of its intended first-year audience. Perhaps people just don’t want to consume their entertainment in these ‘quick bites’.
When we consume media, we overwhelmingly want to either consume huge amounts by bingeing series or we want to watch shorter, stand-alone YouTube-style videos. Quibi failed to find its audience and financial records suggest that it could need further cash injection before it fails. Some suggest that the development team vastly overestimated the desire for audiences to engage with such content on their breaks.
Our deep dive on Quibi, everyone’s favourite $2bn investment sinkhole that makes everyone’s television fever dreams come true, reveals some interesting propositions about how it may simply exist as a union-busting effort. Imagine our shock!
Episode here: https://t.co/qptsqnBnCC pic.twitter.com/NpkuWgvWgN
— TRASHFUTURE PODCAST (@trashfuturepod) June 16, 2020
With a lot of talk of the platform ‘flopping’, it seems hard to imagine people will begin to flock to it now, and it will likely see a haemorrhage of users. Some are suggesting the entire Quibi experiment was the most expensive failure in history. Indeed, the state of the streaming market has grown even more competitive, with Disney+ and HBO Max joining Netflix, Hulu, Now TV, and niche platforms like reality TV themed Hayu, BBC/ITV hybrid Britbox, and horror-focused Shudder. The miscalculation came from the fact that just because people use their mobile devices to watch content, doesn’t mean that the act itself is what attracts them.
The dichotomy between the success of gaming on mobile and the failure of the mobile-centric Quibi gives us an interesting takeaway. Gaming is easier on mobile due to the accessibility and the portability, while people prefer to indulge in content when they are settled on possibly larger devices. Mobiles are useful, therefore, when we are doing something active, but less popular when it comes to passive activities.