Mobile Games and Entertainment is Serious Business
|School children will sit in their break and do it, businessmen and women will sit in an airport lounge and do it. People waiting for the bus, in a train, or waiting in a queue will do it. Almost everyone will be using their mobile phones for entertainment and games.|
Today, the major part of the European population have a mobile phone within reach 24 hours a day. Most business people are using the phone to help make their workday more effective, kids are sending SMS’s and everyone can be contacted at any time, no matter where they might be. But the mobile phone is also always close by when its owner is bored or needs to be cheered up.
And that will be when the mobile consumers will turn towards those mobile services offering games and entertainment. For the content- and service providers catering for these needs, there will be money to be made on these services. In fact, by 2005, it is expected that revenue from mobile games and entertainment will be the most profitable mobile services.
This is one of the conclusions in Strand Consults 300 page “How to make money on mobile services” – Facts and Figures, a comprehensive report about the development and value of all types of mobile services in 16 mobile markets in Europe from 2002 to 2005. This report was compiled as part of the work on the primary report “How to make money on mobile services” a picture of the current & future Market for Mobile Services in Europe.
All the information, data and projections in “How to make money on mobile services” a picture of the current & future Market for Mobile Services in Europe and “How to make money on mobile services” Facts & Figures is based on data collected by Strand Consult in 2002 focusing on actual traffic figures from many mobile operators, content- and service providers in Europe.
According to this report, mobile services offering games and entertainment will have contributed the smallest revenue in 2002 (including content and transmission fees), compared to the total revenue from all types of mobile services. The total revenue from mobile games and entertainment in 2002 will amount to 44,7 million Euro in Europe, out of a total mobile services revenue of 1.6 billion Euro. As the new 2.5G and 3G advanced colour mobile phones penetrate the markets in the coming years, mobile games and entertainment will be able to develop immensely from what we have seen so far and generate a predicted revenue of 3.2 billion Euro in 2005, out of a total market value for mobile services in Europe of 22.7 billion Euro.
The main reasons for the sharp increase in revenue from mobile games and entertainment in the coming years is of course partly the very limited possibilities that SMS can offer today and the introduction of new colour mobile phones that will begin to have similar capabilities as the popular Game Boys. With the new mobile phones and uptake of GPRS and – in the longer term – 3G, mobile games and entertainment can be offered as MMS’s, WAP services or Mobile Applications, giving a whole new user experience with sound, pictures, animation and video – on the screen of your mobile phone.
One of the biggest changes in the development of mobile games and entertainment will come from those games that are delivered as Mobile Applications. Mobile Applications are different from what we have seen so far, in that games can be downloaded to the mobile phone and then be played as often as the user wishes – without having to connect to the network. Of course, if it is a multi-player game a network connection will be needed, but with the new technologies, users will only pay for the data traffic used – not the time connected – so multiplayer games do not have to be expensive to use. One of the many benefits of Mobile Applications is that the same Mobile Application game can be sold in different ways, e.g. the user can pay to use the game for 1 day, 1 week or a month, or buy the game for unlimited play. Other variations of payment could be paying for each new level that the user downloads, but being able to play that level an unlimited number of times.
It is this type of versatility – both in the 2.5G/3G technology and the new mobile phones – that will effect the market for mobile games and entertainment in the coming years. Mobile games and entertainment that are based on Mobile Applications will generate a revenue of 2.4 billion Euro in 2005, according to Strand Consults report “How to make money on mobile services” – Facts and Figures. This will cover more than 77% of the total value of mobile games and entertainment in 2005. The last 23% of the total value for mobile games and entertainment will be delivered on the other available platforms (SMS, MMS, and WAP) giving a total market value for mobile games and entertainment in Europe in 2005 of 3.2 billion Euro.
It is important to remember that some mobile games and entertainment will be based on situations where consumers have “time to kill” and do not have access to a TV, computer or other media, whereas others can be part of a multi-platform offering – for example in connection with other media like TV shows, advertising and marketing competitions etc. But there is no doubt that mobile games and entertainment will not be a fad that can generate revenue for mobile operators and content owners for a little while – and then disappear. For once there will be money to be made when something stops: “Game over – do you want to play again?”