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Video Games Are Fueling Growth in Smartphone Use

Last Updated September 23, 2020 1:17 PM
Simon Chandler
Last Updated September 23, 2020 1:17 PM
  • The three most popular Android gaming apps account for 55% of the entire Android app market.
  • Video games also account for the vast majority of in-app spending.
  • As with other new technologies, video games have been responsible in driving adoption of smartphones.

Video games are one of the great drivers of technological change and adoption. Sure, they may have an unfair reputation for causing climate change and being anti-social, but they’re vital to the spread of new technologies like smartphones.

Don’t believe me? Well, for one, video games are key in motivating adoption of VR, AR, HDTVs, and even cryptocurrencies. Not only that, but new research published this week  shows that they’ve also been indispensable to smartphone growth.

Published by GoldenCasinoNews.com, the study found that the top three Android gaming apps account for 55 percent of the entire Android market. First on this list is Subway Surfers, which has reached 22.58 percent of the entire market. Next is Candy Crush Saga, with 19.77 percent. And third is Temple Run 2, with 12.71 percent.

Together, the domination of these three games shows just how central video gaming is to the smartphone app ecosystem. Most smartphone owners have downloaded and play games on their mobile devices. If nothing else, this suggests that a big factor in buying smartphones and occasionally upgrading them is a desire to play the most popular games.

Video Games as a Trojan Horse

In other words, video games are a Trojan horse for new technologies. Previous research also supports this view. In August, the State of Mobile 2019 report from analytics company APP ANNIE found that 74 percent of consumer app spending comes from video games . On top of this, gaming accounts for 33 percent of all app downloads across all mobile platforms.

This is an incredible statistic. Most importantly, it undermines the widely repeated assumption that smartphone use and uptake has been driven by social media . Sure, the ability to quickly take photos and post them to Facebook or Instagram has been key in spreading smartphones. Nonetheless, the neglected video game has been a similar key player in this growth.

Firstly, video games are one of the main ways people interact and come to learn about the functionality of their phones. Secondly, big titles like Pokémon Go have even been directly responsible for surges in smartphone use as well as for popularizing new technologies like augmented reality . Back in 2016, the AR game even caused the stock of smartphone battery manufacturers to soar , such was its power in getting people on their mobiles.

Pokémon Go video game
Pokémon Go’s popularity has helped drive the use of smartphones and has also popularized such new technologies as AR. | Credit: pixabay/Tumisu

More Growth

Make no mistake, this is only the beginning. According to data from research company Newzoo , the global mobile gaming market will grow to $68.5 billion by the end of 2019. By the end of 2021, this figure will increase to $100 billion .

Simply put, this means that smartphone use and revenues will grow in parallel. Ultimately, this should come as no surprise. Video games have long been a device for introducing the general public to new technologies. Compared to other applications of tech, they’re exciting yet reassuringly non-threatening, increasing the chances that tech is adopted. And despite gaming’s occasionally poor reputation, this will continue to be the case in the future. So if you support progress, support video games.