Mobile Gaming’s Spending Slump: A First in History

As the world continues to become more digital, the gaming industry has been one of the biggest beneficiaries. But for the first time in history, consumer spending on digital assets within mobile gaming has decreased year-over-year. This new trend has left many analysts wondering what caused the sudden shift, and what it will mean for the future of mobile gaming.

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Downloads Remain Hot, Consumer Spend is Cooling

Despite the fact that more games are being played than ever before, the amount of money being spent on them is decreasing.

Overall consumer spending in mobile gaming dropped -5%, totaling $110 Billion. However, downloads actually increased to nearly 90 Billion, with Hypercasuals and surprise hits like Genshin Impact, Stumble Guys, and Wordle driving this growth.

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Video Game Sales Declined

The combined unit sales for full-games physical boxed games and digital downloads declined 3% during 2022 compared to 2021.

Piers Harding-Rolls, research director at Ampere, said the figures show the games industry isn’t “recession proof,” with cost-of-living challenges inflicted by higher prices likely to weigh on consumption.

The Unpredictable Nature of the Global Mobile Gaming Market

China’s gaming sector revenue declined in the first half of 2022 for the first time since the data was made available 14 years ago. A contributing factor was the Chinese government implementing regulations which caused mobile gaming companies to lose billions of dollars. 

These regulations included a ban on microtransactions and a limit on the number of new games released each month. These restrictions were to address concerns about mobile gaming addiction and this week the China Games Trade Body called for more bans on young people playing video games. 

Ampere is also forecasting the Russian gaming market lost $1.2bn in value in 2022, with many major games companies halting their business in response to the conflict in Ukraine. 

These latest decisions demonstrated the vulnerability of the gaming industry and the continued dominance of centralized authority in the global landscape.

New Strategies for Monetizing Digital Assets

The volatility of the market and governments’ decision to intervene have dramatically affected spending habits. Consumers may also be putting less significance on gaming items as a cost-of-living crisis grips the world. With this in mind, developers will be keen to keep an open mind to new and innovative ways of monetizing their games.

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This is where web3 technology comes in, a decentralized solution for digital assets, developers can create a more sustainable monetization model for their games, allowing gamers to trade their digital assets freely and securely.

In our next article, we’ll provide information on this technology and how it is free from censorship and centralization. 

Many communities are built from games, but what if you could create a game that incorporates an already established community? What if you could add more value to a digital asset for that consumer? 

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