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What’s next for the mobile gaming industry?

The news: The mobile gaming segment saw declines in 2022 as gamers moved from casual to more complex hybrid-casual titles. We can expect continued consolidation and multi-platform releases in 2023, per SensorTower.

  • Inflation had a significant impact on the mobile games market, affecting user acquisition costs, revenue per install, and consumer spending habits.
  • Hybrid-casual games, which blend the ease of use with more complex features like character collection, progression, and download packs, had a 14% increase in downloads in 2022
  • Action games registered a 13% YoY increase in downloads. Key titles in this category include shoot-em-ups like Survivor.io and action sandbox games like School Party Craft, which features crafting elements like Roblox.

What’s next for 2023: The mobile game industry is expected to see more growth in AAA titles as publishers invest in quality that can compete with premium console and PC games. 

  • Call of Duty: Mobile, Genshin Impact, and League of Legends: Wild Rift, are some examples of successful mobile iterations of console and PC games. 
  • There will be more multiplatform releases as developers use cloud gaming and cross-play features to reach wider audiences and increase retention. 
  • Developers will continue to focus on casual and mid-core games that offer deeper gameplay and monetization.
  • Cloud gaming will continue to grow as more mobile games offer multiplayer options and cross-platform compatibility. 

The opportunity: Today’s premium smartphones are powerful and capable enough to run more demanding mobile games, and their always-connected features will help drive up engagement.

  • Portable console makers like Nintendo and Steam might consider adding 5G capability to their devices to enable ubiquitous access and true mobile gaming to compete with iPhones and Android flagships.
  • Carriers and service providers can lean into the popularity of mobile gaming by looking at gaming-specific data plans or by investing in cloud-gaming infrastructure.

This article originally appeared in Insider Intelligence's Connectivity & Tech Briefing—a daily recap of top stories reshaping the technology industry. Subscribe to have more hard-hitting takeaways delivered to your inbox daily.