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Chinese and Southeast Asian games industry market research and consulting firm Niko Partners released a report detailing mobile esports games in 2018. The report shows that the industry made $15.3 billion in 2018, with over 1/3rd of that amount from consumers in China.
Niko Partners: $15.3 billion in revenue
The report starts off by describing that the increase in mobile device usage will be one of the “primary drivers” for growth in the industry for digital games over the next 5 years. This is because mobile devices are owned by almost everyone already. Mobile game revenue has already surpassed the revenue brought in by PC and console gaming.
PC is still considered the most visible esports platform in 2019. This is because of live streaming platforms like Twitch, along with esports tournaments based around PC games like League of Legends and Dota 2. However, mobile devices are an inexpensive alternative and more accessible to users in many other countries. They also have a low barrier for entry and higher installation rates compared to other games because of the simplicity.
Mobile esports game revenue accounts for more than 25% of total mobile game revenue, which has only increased in 2019. There are 2.53 billion mobile gamers in 2019, compared to 1 billion players on PC and 500 million on consoles. In addition, almost 75% of mobile internet users in China alone are also mobile gamers. Mobile players in China also outnumber PC players at a rate of almost 2 to 1.
Growth of mobile esports
The Niko Partners report goes on to describe the business models of PC and mobile esports. Esports on PC usually consist of core and professional gamers, while the mobile competitive scene also allows casual gamers to take part. Mobile esports is also considered more gender-balanced and features many other genres like puzzle and racing games.
There are further monetization channels for mobile games, along with no requirement for the specialized arenas that many PC esports tournaments demand. Since the main requirement for a mobile esports event is just mobile devices, tournaments can be hosted a lot easier and in a decentralized fashion.
The top 10 PC esports titles in 2018 brought in approximately $8.9 billion in revenue. This is compared to $8.5 billion for the top 10 mobile esports titles in the same year. However, PC esports made $8.2 billion in 2017, compared to $7.7 billion for mobile esports titles.
Even with the growth of mobile esports revenue and a number of top PC titles also releasing mobile ports of their games, many still don’t consider the mobile scene to require as much skill as its PC counterpart. What do you think? Let us know in the comments below. Keep up with Daily Esports for all of your esports coverage.
Ethan Chen is a writer with over 3 years of experience covering esports, gaming, and business.