TMobile gaming as a whole is one of the fastest growing markets – definitely the fastest growing gaming market, expected to reach a value of $165 billion this year and ever growing interest as the target audience changes toward those with a disposable income – as the market grows and the audience changes, the culture around the market also evolves – something that has been seen particularly with mobile betting and gambling – although aimed at a casual market, many of the users spend more time and more money on these games than what had previously been seen within mobile gaming, this has caused a huge shift as interest is pulled away from other traditional gaming formats and funelled directly into mobile gaming.
Gaming as a whole had typically been dominated by the male teen audience, but as mobile games have developed and changed to become a more casual experience intended for those who have little time and need a game to jump in, play for a few minutes, and jump back out, the audience has changed – it is now primarily dominated by middle aged women with disposable incomes, this provides a new opportunity for mobile game developers as the market now sees big revenue. Part of the success can be attributed to social media as many are encouraged to share the games they’re playing and to receive some reward for doing so, but this also comes as games have changed to become a more social experience as a whole – chat rooms and live interaction have become commonplace replicating some of what could be experienced in a traditional brick and mortar location.
As the market has grown, as have some issues within the culture too – within the UK mobile gaming has become a larger issue as the number of problem gamblers have increased. The combat this, an initiative called Gamstop was introduced which provided an option for users to self-register to blacklist themselves from these sites, but as it had become effectively mandatory for UK operators to register, many chose to register outside of the UK and as such non gamstop betting sites are commonplace and oftentimes more used as they have a number of options including anonymous registration and payment methods.
(Image from uploadvr)
The trend shows no signs of slowing either – gaming has continued to grow amongst this new audience and the culture toward mobile gaming is changing for this new demographic – as mobile technology and smartphones continue to change, the availability of these games will too and there may be a shift back toward a younger audience – VR gambling is growing in popularity as virtual reality evolves and as the hardware behind it reduces in cost, which could signal the next step in what mobile gambling could become – as mentioned social interaction has been a huge driving force behind this growth as it changes gaming from something done as a solo effort into something to be shared and spoken about – the culture of mobile gambling is now just as much about finding luck in some winnings as it is about having the social interaction with friends and strangers.