Do you remember playing the game “Snake” on the early Nokia mobile phones in the late 1990s? Or even Tetris for that matter, which was actually one of the first mobile games ever? These were some of the popular, early mobile games.
Nokia launched Snake on its phones in 1997 and it went on to become one of the most-played mobile games ever. But PC games and console games continued to dominate through the 1990s and the 2000s.
The first multi-player gaming experience too was on a Nokia mobile phone - the 6110. It had a two-player version of the Snake game, which two players could share using the phones infrared port. In 2003, in fact, Nokia even launched an exclusive gaming phone - the Nokia N-Gage.
However, it wasn’t until the advent of the smartphone from 2010 onwards that mobile gaming really began to take off. That’s when gaming companies like Zynga, Tencent, Activision & King came into the picture.
Remember Angry Birds? That game made by Rovio was a rage in the early part of this decade. Similarly, Candy Crush by King and Pokemon Go by Niantic were all mobile gaming revolutions. In fact, Pokemon Go was such as craze because it went beyond just the mobile phone. It actually got people to move around cities hunting Pokemons!
Mobile Gaming Addiction
Mobile gaming is turning out to be an addiction. Just look at the stats. According to data, males aged over 15 spend between 10 to 20 minutes per session playing mobile games. And they play about 4-5 sessions a day, which is more than one-and-a-half hours of gaming time each day.
Female users aren’t far behind. They spend about 8-12 minutes a session across about four to five sessions a day.
Children, below 14 years of age, have an average session time of 10-15 minutes per session played 4-5 times a day. The record for the longest gaming time was 24 hours and 10 minutes of continuous gaming in August 2011.
The Money in Mobile Games
Revenue in the mobile gaming segment is huge. The total amount of revenue earned from mobile games in India in 2018 was Rs 4,775 crore across game developing companies. Nearly 89 percent of gaming revenue came from mobile games alone. The country has over 222 million active gamers.
Most game developers work on a “Freemium” model, where the basic game is free, but they earn revenue via ads or get players to upgrade to the premium model by paying a fee.
In China, revenue from gaming was a staggering Rs 1,19,581 crore in 2018. That’s way more than India’s gaming market.