According to video game research firm SuperData, the global mobile games market will reach $21.6 billion by the end of 2014 thanks to an influx of new gamers. Approximately 1.5 billion mobile gamers will serve as a potential audience for game developers. The booming Chinese mobile games market is forecast to reach $3 billion and 266 million gamers this year. SuperData, which forecasts 242 mobile gamers in the U.S., sees China overtaking America in mobile games revenue in 2015. For 2014, U.S. gamers will contribute $3.2 billion to the coffers of game makers.
Both the average spending and conversion rate of Chinese mobile gamers is expected to grow by more than 20% as the average spend per paying American mobile gamer hits $21. Compared with the same time last year, January marketing costs doubled in China, compared to a 36% increase in the U.S.
Changing markets will force game developers to emphasize effective monetization mechanics and a focus on their most lucrative players. As the next generation of digital gaming is starting to mature, several important changes are taking place this year. One of those is the opening up of the Chinese gamer market. Already, Microsoft announced its entry into this previously closed market with the release of its Xbox One. There’s no doubt this will further cultivate a thriving gamer market, but mobile games are showing tremendous growth.
By comparison, the U.S. mobile game market is showing signs of saturation. Overall spending continues to grow, but does so at a lower rate than its Chinese counterpart. And so major publishers like King have set their sights on China and recently announced a publishing deal with Tencent to release Candy Crush Saga in China.
With such a large opportunity and explosive growth, quantifying the Chinese market is another feat, especially when comparing it to the US mobile world.