4 Mobile Gaming Trends to Watch in 2019

wooden desk with gadgets on it

Last year saw plenty of exciting developments in the world’s mobile market. Naturally, many of these trends will spill into this year and beyond. Yet, there will also be new, disruptive, and surprising developments within the industry. Following from our continuous and extensive market analysis, we put together a list of four mobile gaming trends to look out for in 2019. Keep reading to learn what to anticipate before the year’s end! These span from our original post about trends to look out for across games, esports, and mobile in 2019.

The Mobile Games Market will Continue to Grow

In 2019, the global mobile games market will grow significantly, generating $72 billion in revenues. This will be mostly driven by emerging markets such as India. Yet, fewer game releases in China, the world’s largest and most lucrative games market, will limit the industry’s growth potential. In fact, this was one of the reasons that led us to cut our global games market forecast last year.

China’s Regulations will Change Developers’ Strategies at Home and Abroad

Following the previously mentioned regulatory reforms in China and the formation of the Ethics Game Committee, it will be difficult for publishers to release games in China. To follow the new committee’s standards, foreign companies must invest resources and time to adjust their titles. Of course, businesses will only make these adjustments if they are confident their games will perform well in the market. This means that only the most popular titles and franchises can risk a Chinese release.

The new regulations will also cause Chinese game companies to move their focus overseas. Southeast Asia, the U.S., Japan, Europe, South Korea, and the Middle East are especially high-potential markets.

Epic will Expand Its Store to Mobile

Last year, Epic Games, the company behind Fortnite, released a digital store on PC to compete with Steam, the current market leader. It is likely that the company will try a similar strategy on mobile (Android specifically) in 2019. Epic already decided to bypass the Google Play Store earlier this year, when it opted to release the Android edition of Fortnite via a dedicated proprietary launcher.

We expect the company to bring a dedicated launcher to mobile for its future games and perhaps other publishers’ titles —essentially, a mobile edition of the Epic Games Store. Epic has already showcased that it can effectively distribute mobile games on a large scale, and the company is building a rich set of tools for mobile and PC cross-platform development. This may be a sign of things to come.  If Epic can attract mobile developers to a new platform using a developer-friendly revenue share, this would disrupt the app distribution scene and may mark the beginning of the end for app stores.

More Immersive and Competitive Games on Mobile

Over the past few years, smartphones have become powerful enough to match certain laptops in processing power — all while remaining small enough to fit in your pocket. This has resulted in genres that were once exclusive to games consoles and PCs — including shooters, MOBAs, and (MMO)RPGs — now being commonplace on mobile. They will be even more common in 2019, with further releases of immersive and competitive mobile games.

These types of mobile games are, and will remain to be, very popular in emerging markets such as South East Asia and India. Drawn to the high potential of these markets, Western publishers will continue to adapt big franchises to the mobile games market, following the recent examples set by Fortnite and upcoming Activision-Blizzard title Diablo Immortal.

Looking for more mobile trends to look out for, as well as trends for the esports and games markets? Read our original article here.

Jelle Kooistra is the Head of the Market Analysis at Newzoo, where his team is responsible for forecasting, financial analysis, and thought leadership on the games, esports, and mobile markets.