TheGamingEconomy Daily Digest brings you the trending business stories in gaming. In today’s edition: Mobile gaming consumer spend hits USD$61.7bn (£47.4bn); over 70 million PC shipments in Q4 2019; and Riot launches tabletop division.
Mobile gaming consumer spend hits USD$61.7bn (£47.4bn)
Consumer spend on mobile gaming increased by 12.8% over the course of 2019 to reach a total of USD$61.7bn (£47.4bn), representing 74% of total in-app spending, according to estimates released by Sensor Tower. Total game installs also increased through 2019, rising 9.9% year-on-year to 42.1 billion downloads. Breaking down the revenue figures by store, iOS game spending grew by 11.4% to reach USD$37.0bn (£28.4bn), representing a total of 68% of App Store revenue. In-game spending on Google Play grew at a faster rate (15%), hitting USD$24.7bn (£19.0bn). The healthy uplift in consumer spending on mobile games has been attributed to innovative content and growth in emerging markets.
An important caveat to note is that the compiled estimates do not take revenue from in-app advertising into account, meaning the total revenue generated by mobile titles is likely to be significantly higher than these figures suggest. The recently-published Ad Survey Results 2019 report from deltaDNA suggests 94% of F2P developers and publishers use a form of in-game advertising in their titles, with growing adoption in the hardcore segment along with casual gaming.
Over 70 million PC shipments in Q4 2019
The PC market grew by between 2.3% and 4.8% in the fourth quarter of 2019, with global shipments throughout the quarter reaching over 70 million units, according to research from Gartner and the International Data Corporation (IDC). Gartner estimates that 70.6 million PCs were delivered in Q4 2019, with full-year shipments rising by 0.6% to reach 261 million units. The figures from IDC suggest an even stronger performance for the PC market at the tailend of the year, with shipments rising by 4.8%, driving full-year growth of 1.7%, the first full-year expansion since 2011. Notably the firms differed on their forecasts for the Chinese market, with Gartner estimating a 6.1% decline while IDC predicting growth as a result of greater consumer spending in China. The rollout of 5G and dual-screen notebook devices has been identified as potential drivers of future growth, although their adoption from both consumers and businesses remains uncertain.
In a statement announcing IDC’s findings, Jitesh Ubrani, research manager for the firm’s Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers division, said, “Despite the positivity surrounding 2019, the next twelve to eighteen months will be challenging for traditional PCs as the majority of Windows 10 upgrades will be in the rearview mirror and lingering concerns around component shortages and trade negotiations get ironed out. Although new technologies such as 5G and dual- and folding-screen devices along with an uptake in gaming PCs will provide an uplift, these will take some time to coalesce.”
Riot launches tabletop division
Riot is launching a tabletop gaming division, following the release of the Mechs vs. Minions title in 2016 and the upcoming League of Legends digital card game. Riot Tabletop is the latest foray by video game developers into physical titles, following the launch of Rebellion’s Unplugged division, which leveraged its Sniper Elite IP, and Niantic’s acquisition of Beasts of Balance creator Sensible Object in June last year.
The release announcing the launch of the studio reads, “We’re gamers. That means more to us than just video games. You can tell by the piles of board games, miniatures, and roleplaying books stashed around the office. So it was natural to explore what would happen if we brought the Riot perspective to tabletop games. We call it Riot Tabletop.”