Data has shown that gamers from across the world would much rather download a game (63.6%) than buy the physical version of the game (26%). This has led to the rise of gaming platforms such as Steam.
Software such as Steam gives gamers the option to purchase and download the game rather than buying a physical copy from a shop. This gives players the chance to get their hands on and test new games with ease. Around ten years ago it wasn't odd to see gamers queue up through the night, outside shops to make sure they got their hands on one of the first copies of a new game. Now, they are able to download it straight to their computer.
Each month there are around 120.4 million active users on Steam. In 2022, there are around 69 million players using the platform. With 47,937 games available on Steam, players have logged a total of 31.3 billion hours of playtime in 2020.
It has been stated that the top 1% of Steam games earn more than $25 million on Steam. This combined with other platforms plus physical copies amounts to a large earning for game publishers and developers.
Players from the USA also account for 14.43% of all Steam players, followed closely behind by China at 11.66%. The platform is used worldwide and allows players to connect and share gaming experiences without physcially being togehter. The platform is different to the likes of Twitch, which serves more as a gaming social media. Twitch allows players to stream their playtime to fans and connect in different ways.
This has also contributed to the way that people use games via other consoles. With the rise of downloading games rather than buying physical copies, gamers have taken the same approach when gaming via tablet or smartphone.
Mobile gaming has grown exponentially. In 2020, mobile gaming accounted for over half of video gaming revenue worldwide. There are currently 2.6 million mobile gamers worldwide with the amount increasing every year. This is likely due to the amount of games that are available to play via smartphones.
The Google Play Store has over 6.4 million games available to download in the US. VOODOO Games was the most popular games producer and are the creators of casual games such as Paper.io and Stack Jump. These types of games tend to be relatively easy and passive to play. Games such as Paper.io don’t require that much skill and are often used to pass time and entertain people in times of boredom.
On top of this, over half of mobile gamers play more than ten times a week. The length of playtime tends to be shorter in comparison to games on other consoles. One of the most popular games was Clash of Clans. This game allows users to compete with friends through war-type scenarios. Currently the game has around 2 million active daily users.
Competion between mobile games is tight, in addition to this app stores compete with each other too. The Apple App Store and the Google Play Store are the two most prominent hubs to download games. Currently, the Google Play Store has a greater revenue level at 19.6% compared to Apple’s App Store at 13.2%.
Overall, digital platforms such as Steam and mobile gaming has allowed people to play games almost immediately and without complications. Devices that are available now such as iPads and powerful Android phones have allowed users to have a innovative and simple gaming experience that often lines up with the experience that is felt on consoles and computers.