For the first time, mobile gaming will make more money than traditional videogames

Everyone’s playing games on the mobile devices.
Everyone’s playing games on the mobile devices.
Image: Reuters/Yuya Shino
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Mobile gaming now brings in more revenue than videogames played on PCs or on consoles.

The threshold was crossed earlier this year and 2016 will be the first time mobile gaming from smartphones, tablets and other handheld devices generates more revenue than any other single platform, according to data from Newzoo, a video gaming research firm. Total gaming revenue will reach $99.6 billion this year, up 8.5% from 2015.

Video gaming is following the same trend as other applications as people spend more time on their mobile phones. In the fourth quarter of 2015, 76% of people who used entertainment apps played a game on their phone at least once, according to Nielsen.

Banking has seen a similar trend. In December 2015, weekly mobile banking surpassed weekly branch visits, also for the first time. While that hasn’t shifted banking revenue, it has made physical bank branches less and less viable.

Mobile gaming has allowed the development of major companies such as Zynga and spurred consolidation in the industry. King Digital, the maker of Candy Crush, went public in 2013 and was acquired by Activision for $5.9 billion in November 2015. Microsoft bought the maker of Minecraft, Mojang, for $2.5 billion in September 2014. Amazon purchase Twitch for $970 million the previous month.