Commentary

Mobile Gaming Keeps Growing

Glance over at the person next to you on his phone. Chances are he's playing Clash of Clans, Candy Crush, or some other silly game.

We can’t get enough of our little games, can we?

As such, the mobile gaming audience continues to grow steadily, even though mobile gaming is already a ubiquitous pastime.

More than two-thirds of mobile phone users -- and nearly 56% of the U.S. population -- will play games on their phone at least monthly in 2016, according to fresh estimates from eMarketer.

The research firm attributes the continued growth to the sustained popularity of gaming apps along with the growing ranks of new smartphone users.

And, the projections just keep getting bigger. By 2020, 77% of mobile phone users -- and nearly 64% of the U.S. population -- will play games on their phone at least once a month.

Mobile gaming is not just happening on smartphone devices, either. On the contrary, more than 120 million people -- or 72.5% of tablet users -- will play games on a tablet at least once per month in 2016.

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By 2020, meanwhile, half of the U.S. digital audience will play tablet games.

Of note, eMarketer increased its projection for the number of U.S. tablet gamers slightly based on the updated forecast for overall tablet users.

The number of online console gamers, on the other hand, remain smaller -- representing 19.4% of Web users this year.

What’s more -- due to the lack of new console releases combined with audience maturity and the popularity of mobile gaming -- penetration of online gaming will only rise by a little over 1 percentage point by 2020.

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