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According to a World Bank report in 2016, there were 1.6 billion people with access to the internet. Moreover, over 44% of these, or over 700 million people played online games. The market was expected to double at that stage with expected growth rate of over 27.3%. The market back then remained particularly promising for economies in East-Asia as rates for internet access remains cheap, and easily available. For example, East Asia accounted for over half of global revenue amounting to $5.5 billion in 2010. Similarly, countries like Korea, the game sector was worth $390 million in 2010. This is despite the official government ranking system deeming the download from Apple, and Android stores illegal. Moreover, in 2009, the gaming market in Japan was worth $1 billion. Reports from China from the same period, reported over 4.6 million paying users, and an online library of just 3,000 games. The laws relating to downloads from Apple, and Android stores have loosened up, and the mobile games market is expected to register robust growth in the near future.
Mobile Gaming: More than just Fun!
Mobile games market is one of the most promising horizons in the global economy. The popularity of mobile games holds major promise for other technologies like virtual reality, virtual currencies, software development, and local customizations. Furthermore, the gaming systems continues to be used in other applications increasingly in job-related training, education, social media, and even in sectors like healthcare. However, despite the tremendous interest in gaming, gaming in regions like North America has shied away from reaching its potential. On one hand, mobile operators have become largely irrelevant to mobile users, as over 50% report using a Wi-Fi to download a game. Moreover, applications like YouTube, Netflix continue to takeaway enormous amounts of bandwidth. This has reduced global revenues for mobile operators, who are in dire need to increase capacities. Furthermore, according to a CISCO report, the mobile traffic is expected to manifold in the near future, creating further hurdles for mobile gamers. The growing data caps on mobile plans remain a challenge for expansion of mobile games in developed markets like the United States.
5G Technology: A Ray of Hope?
5G technology promises to solve the major issues with data caps, and constrained demand in key markets like the US in relation to mobile gaming. 5G is expected to drive technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Technology, among others. Moreover, leading technology giants like Google, Amazon, Facebook have taken lead in the Artificial Intelligence arena, and hence, will likely push introduction of 5G technology. The lessons of 4G technology introduction like high-spectrum prices, and eventual limitations to growth will also likely reflect in valuation of 5G technology. The immediate need for higher spectrum allocation, and introduction of 5G technology in key markets like the US will drive major growth for the global mobile games market in near future.
Some key players in the mobile games market are Key players in the mobile games market include Electronic Arts, Tencent, Nintendo, Activision Blizzard, Zynga, and Ubisoft, TakeTwo Interactive.
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