When it comes to rest and relaxation, there’s nothing quite like enjoying some time out with a friend. Gaming might be a fun activity to do on your own, but it’s definitely more enjoyable when there are two of you – and it’s more competitive too. This is just one reason why the player-to-player mobile gaming market is growing in popularity.
As a response to the demand for accessible and fun player-to-player gaming content, games companies have ramped up their investments and poured their energies into creating both games and devices that meet this multiplayer need. This article will explore why this is happening – and what the effects have been for gamers.
Single-Player Games: A Thing of the Past?
For those who cut their gaming teeth in the era of pinball machines, it may seem surprising to hear that multiplayer has become so popular. Even iconic early video games such as Final Fantasy were single-player. However, for those who grew up in the heyday of Call of Duty and other games with multiplayer options, it’s hard to understand why anyone would want to play alone when there’s so much fun to be had with fellow players.
This shift to multiplayer has been down in large part to the technological revolution that has taken place in the last decade or so. It was much harder to pair up one player and another in the time before broadband internet and other communication infrastructures were in place. However, the rise of super-fast internet in many parts of the US and beyond has meant that playing against each other is much easier. Some states have broadband coverage levels of up to 99% – meaning that lots of people have easy access to multiplayer gaming content if they want it.
It’s not just the existence of super-fast internet either. Games consoles are now ubiquitous, and they also serve many other functions. For those who use their tablet computer as a console, for example, it’s likely that this device serves several other key needs, including email, banking, and shopping. As a result, games can be accessed with much greater ease and no longer require the firing up of a separate, time-intensive console.
When it comes to the raw facts and figures, the rise in shared mobile gaming is astonishing. At its most basic level, it’s believed that over half of the population of the US were mobile gamers by 2018. Digging deep into the mobile and multiplayer worlds, one study even found that player-to-player gamers who were using Internet-enabled mobile phones or handheld consoles had an increased likelihood of spending over five hours per week gaming compared to those who didn’t play multiplayer games.
It’s worth pointing out that the rise in multiplayer gaming has coincided with a dramatic rise in the number of gaming niches out there. This makes sense: the network effect caused by bringing more and more people into gaming has meant that there’s a more elaborate and demanding market to cater for, and so in many ways, it’s no surprise to see gaming companies responding in this way.
Gambling is one such niche. The online gambling market is expected to be worth $73.4bn by 2024 – and given that there’s so much choice, it’s easy to see why. From the humble bingo game (which saw a staggering 3.7% market share growth in 2018) to online poker (in which all operators report neutral or growing net revenue year-on-year), there’s a lot to choose from here. Games that are fueled through social media are also popular, as the in-built networks on sites such as Facebook make multiplayer gaming simple and easy.
Player-to-player mobile gaming is a booming market these days, and it’s fast becoming one of the primary ways to engage with games. It’s been fueled by a number of changes, including the rise in ever-present mobile technology plus changes in communications infrastructures. And with so many available niches to choose from, it’s easy to see why so many people are choosing player-to-player mobile gaming as their activity of choice.