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Asia’s mobile-gaming market is an unstoppable, money-generating monster, and it’s going to push worldwide spending on smartphone apps to new heights over the next few years.

By the end of 2014, mobile gaming will reach revenues of $21.1 billion, according to the analysts at SuperData Research. That represents a 19-percent increase from the $17.7 billion mobile games generated in 2013. Western gamers still tend to spend more money on a per-player basis, but countries like Japan, China, and South Korea are contributing in a big way to the bottom line.

“Much of this growth is due to Asia,” SuperData founder and lead researcher Joost van Dreunen wrote in a report, “which accounts for over half of the worldwide mobile market and its booming smartphone industry as devices become more affordable and ubiquitous in the region.”

SuperData’s full report is available on VB Insight


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Mobile-game revenue in Asia will reach $11.3 billion by the end of 2014, according to SuperData. That number includes in-app purchases as well as money generated by in-game ads. While that is a huge figure, the region still has plenty of room left to grow. China, India, and Russia are all markets that have large portions of their populations still waiting to pick up smartphones. SuperData expects that worldwide gaming revenue will reach $28.2 billion by 2016 as those untapped consumers come online.

Mobile revenues_edited

In the West, meanwhile, SuperData notes that spending is growing by 16 percent from 2013 to 2014. That is still double-digit growth, but it’s slower than the worldwide average.

“Though revenue growth in the U.S. and Canada is stagnating, it will see an 11 percent bump in 2015 as smartphone penetration hits critical mass and players become comfortable with spending more on mobile games,” said van Dreunen.

And it’s not like Western gamers aren’t already comfortable with spending money on mobile. SuperData’s research reveals that the average paying player in the U.K. and U.S. spends far more than just about anywhere else in the world. The intelligence firm explains this by pointing out that U.S. and U.K. are mature tech markets that have both had a long time to get accustomed to the way mobile games work.

“At more than $25 in July, mobile spending in the U.S. and U.K. is more than double that in Brazil, Latin America’s biggest market,” wrote van Dreunen. “The average revenue per paying user [ARPPU] in Russia, Eurasia’s largest mobile market, is just below $20 while the region’s second largest market, Turkey, shows promise as ARPPU steadily increases over the last 12 months.”

With the market expanding in every region, it’s clear why developers and investors continue to rush into the mobile space. If revenue really does reach nearly $30 billion in just a couple of years, the companies establishing a presence now could end up the big winners.

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