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Mobile gaming remains one of the largest, most important parts of the games industry, according to data released today by Newzoo. Not only is mobile gaming revenue growing, but the industry in general is still holding strong in spite of the worldwide concerns.

The number of new gamers exploded in 2020, to the point where Newzoo had previously predicted the market would shrink in 2021. The growth from last year is likely down to the pandemic and global lockdowns, as gaming — mobile gaming in particular — became an easy hobby to pick up. With those unusual circumstances in mind, Newzoo predicted the global game market would shrink for the first time in years. It forecast a yearly revenue of $175.8 billion for the year. Instead, it hit $180.3 billion.

Tom Wijman, Newzoo’s head of reports and forecasting, said in a statement: “We started the year thinking it would be impossible for the market to match 2020, as delays for AAA releases and ongoing supply shortages for new gaming hardware gave people little opportunity to spend. Yet, nine months into 2021, we realized that the market would grow again. If anything, this shows that the games market is definitely no longer the seasonal, hit-driven business it once was. New gaming content no longer means new games or new hardware—a new season pass is just as likely to drive revenues.”

According to Newzoo, this is largely thanks to the mobile gaming market, which has grown in 2021. In total, the mobile gaming market accounts for 52% of the global market. Both PC and console gaming saw a slight drop in numbers, with PC gaming revenue dropping by 0.8% and console gaming revenue by 6.6%. By contrast, the mobile market has grown by 7.3%.

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Related to the above, Newzoo also reports that the number of global active smartphones has reached 4.6 billion. Tianyi Gu, Newzoo’s market lead for telecom and mobile services, said in a statement: “One of the most influential changes has been Apple’s App Tracking Transparency. Key players in the mobile (gaming) ecosystem—including developers, publishers, ad tech firms, and app stores—all need to adapt to these new changes and the challenges they present. Key players in the mobile (gaming) ecosystem—including developers, publishers, ad tech firms, and app stores—all need to adapt to these new changes and the challenges they present.”

The game market is still predicted to hit $200 billion by 2024.

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