There was a time when straightforward console gaming was king as the huge success of machines such as the Sony PlayStation showed. However, recent statistics from sectors such as the Asian gaming market show that this is no longer the case, and online gaming, particularly mobile gaming, is now the dominant force. The Asian gaming market is worth around $12.4 billion, and amazingly 50% of that figure is made from the mobile gaming niche within it.
Indeed, in many countries, the market share for the console sector is even lower, and online and mobile gaming especially the sectors of esports gambling on Beyond2015 have taken a bigger slice of the pie. Where companies such as Sony struggle to sell physical units, they have found that mobile games played on smartphones are selling fast.
How big is online gaming?
There is no doubt that the online gaming market has grown significantly in recent times. If you look at the UK online gaming market, for example, 2016 saw a continued growth from 2015. It is estimated that 2017 will see a similar rise in the online gaming market value, and by 2021, it may be worth up to £5.2 billion. Already worth £4.33 billion, this is a growth of 6.7%, which is simply staggering. The worldwide revenue for online gambling is even more stunning, with $41.77 billion recorded for 2016.
In terms of popularity with players, if you look at the UK industry for a guide, figures show that around half the population play video games, and a significant number of these players prefer the mobile experience for the convenience and fun that it brings.
Of course, it is important to mention that it is not only video games but also casino games that generate so much revenue for the online gaming industry. The live casino experience is one that has become very popular lately as people enjoy the interaction of being at a casino but still want the convenience of playing from home.
Sony has made recent moves to become involved with all that the mobile online gaming sector has to offer, including popular areas such as live casino games. A division of the company known as ForwardWorks is developing mobile games for Sony and expects to release up to five games around March 2018. With the mobile gaming industry being worth $36.9 billion globally in 2016, this is a wise move from the games giant.
When did online gaming become so popular?
Looking at the industry statistics for the last few years, there has been a steady upward rise in revenue, which experts think will pass the $100 billion mark by 2017.
Firstly, the combined forces of online gaming on both casino sites and video games have enabled revenue to grow massively for the whole of the industry. There have certainly been great efforts made around advertising to make the public more aware of online gaming and also present it in a new way to draw in consumers.
The new technologies that have been released, such as Sony's VR headset for the PlayStation, have contributed to the rise in online gaming's popularity. It has made titles more exciting to play, and refinement within the technology itself has made them more satisfying to use. Of course, the games that are released to play online also play a massive part as people flock to get involved with titles such as Uncharted or Assassin's Creed.
What role has Sony played in this growth?
Within the online gaming industry, Sony has definitely played its part, and the PlayStation is chief among that. Not only has Sony pushed greatly in terms of developing the technology for online gaming, but it has also made great efforts to market in this area. Initiatives such as the PlayStation Network, where players can create an account and play online with friends, is a great example of this.
Of course, the many superb multiplayer game titles available on the PlayStation have contributed greatly to the increase in popularity of online gaming. Games such as the FIFA series, which sold $12.45 million units in 2013, and Call of Duty have given players titles that are immense fun to play with friends rather than alone. Of course, the convenience factor of playing online should not be overlooked as it means that you can play with friends without leaving your sofa, wherever they are in the world.
With industry experts fully expecting the online gaming industry to see continued growth year on year, the future looks bright for it at present. As more people than ever discover the joys of gaming online via consoles such as the PlayStation or on casino sites, the revenue coming into the sector is only likely to increase more.