Casual games continue to drive game play on mobile devices, making the need for faster broadband connections critical. Sixty four million people will play games on a mobile device at least once monthly this year, excluding preinstalled games, a number research firm eMarketer expects to near 94.9 million by 2014.
As more consumers reach for portable devices to play video games, eMarketer estimates ad supported games will account for 6.5% of revenue this year, rising to 12.3% in 2014.
Overall, revenue from games will rise as more consumers open their wallets to play. In fact, mobile gaming revenue should reach $1.5 billion by 2014, up from nearly $850 million this year, but as it stands today, paid downloads will generate the majority, estimates eMarketer.
While many think of Google Android as the operating system on which to build and play casual games, Apple mobile devices continue to become more popular with teens and tweens. Nintendo dominates the handheld video game space for casual games, but a M2 Research report released Wednesday finds more girls turn toward Apple for mobile games. In fact, the study finds 44% of girls ages 8 to 11 and 58% of girls 12 to 15 use an Apple mobile device to play video games.
Cloud computing could prove invaluable as video game play on mobile devices matures, but the need for speed to connect online will require better connectivity. Parks Associates believes wireless connectivity will become a necessity for devices such as e-readers, iPads, and portable game players. The research firm estimates 55% of the more than 100 million mobile Internet devices sold worldwide in 2014 will contain embedded mobile 3G or faster connectivity on mobile handsets.
Faster broadband connectivity and processing speeds on handsets and other mobile devices also should make it easier for consumers to access multiplayer games in the cloud.