Examples of consumer behavior towards tech and services evolving in new ways:
Behaviors that existed pre-pandemic and were significantly boosted by it:
Challenges caused by the pandemic that will ultimately lead to new opportunities:
With the largest gaming audience increase of any region from 2015 through to 2024, Latin America is one of the world’s fastest-growing regions. It also ranks second globally for growth in consumer spending on games (2015-2024), albeit from a small base of 4% of the global games market in 2021.
In 2021, 289.3 million LATAM players will spend a combined $7.2 billion on games, of which 48% will be spent on mobile, 27% on console, and 25% on PC.
Live streaming and esports are more popular in Latin America than in any other region, including Asia. Developers should embrace this aspect of gaming culture and make it a key element of their expansion strategies.
Despite recent growth in audience and engagement, average spend per player in Latin America remains relatively low. Finding more effective ways to monetize new and existing players is the key to continued growth.
In a region where the availability of traditional hardware is limited and few subscription providers exist, developers can scale effectively by partnering with or offering a cloud gaming service that’s capable of expansion.
North America is a mature region where gaming has already reached near-universal adoption levels, and this has several implications for how it absorbs external shocks such as the events of the past 18 months.
In 2021, 212.1 million players in North America will spend a combined $42.6 billion on games, with console being the dominant platform. However, like most regions, North America has also seen tremendous growth in mobile gaming.
In mature regions such as North America, the growth of games culture can be as important or more important than the growth of games themselves. Large-scale socialization and metaverse elements are all rapidly becoming normalized. Additional opportunities lie in further integrating games with social media and streaming platforms.
The future of gaming is platform-agnostic. Developers on mobile, PC, and console will all benefit from making their titles as accessible as possible. This could include publishing on multiple platforms or even joining a subscription service.
Streaming has become an integral social aspect of the gaming experience for North American players, and their interests continue to diversify. With the popularity of mobile game-related content expected to increase, developers who prepare to take advantage of this trend now will be well placed to stay ahead of the curve.
Europe is home to four of the world’s top 10 largest gaming markets (Germany, the U.K., France, and Italy) while the Middle East includes some of the most promising growth markets. Gaming has yet to achieve mainstream status in many African markets.
In 2021, EMEA’s 842.9 million players will spend a combined $37.8 billion on games. Console gaming represents the largest segment as of 2021, but mobile is the fastest growing.
Many EMEA players (particularly in Europe) are willing to spend a lot on games even if they don’t expect to devote as much time to the activity. Key initiatives to implement in the region include: offering players shorter core gameplay loops; giving them options to spend money to save time; and not overly focusing on driving up playing time or play-session length.
EMEA’s high level of market variance doesn’t allow for a one-size-fits-all solution. Developers who can provide a variety of gaming experiences or take advantage of the emerging trend towards cross-platform are most likely to succeed.
Also, publishers should note the way platforms dictate the economics of markets: console-first markets tend to have some of the highest spends, while mobile-first markets show the highest growth and potential for in-game advertising.
Tapping into the community, sharing, and fandom that exists around live streaming and esports offers developers a crucial opportunity to engage and retain European players.
APAC is the world’s largest gaming region, home to 55% of all global players and three of the top four markets by consumer spending (mainland China, Japan, and South Korea). Virtually all of APAC’s 1.62 billion players play on mobile. The $57.9 billion being spent on mobile games in 2021 represents two-thirds of all consumer spending in the region.
For many years, APAC markets have set the global standard for social features in games. Social multiplayer games dominate, unlike in most Western markets, which tend to focus on single-player titles.
This social integration with gaming is taking place at a business and operational level. Companies such as Tencent (which also operates WeChat) continue to blur the lines between games and social apps, and publishers recognize the potential for further monetizing large, socially inclined audiences in the region.
With APAC’s social gaming roots, it’s more ready than other regions to adopt proto-metaverses and similar innovations.
With PC cafes closed in APAC, players are turning to consoles for AAA and single-player experiences. Developers have an opportunity to target this APAC gaming diaspora with innovative premium/single-player-focused experiences on mobile.
Mobile gaming activity continued to increase in APAC over the past 18 months. Although 97% of regional gamers already play on mobile, engagement per player continues to grow.
Mobile also accounts for a significant proportion of consumer spending in the region, which has led to fierce competition and monetization innovations among publishers. From cosmetics to battle passes, APAC’s mobile players spend their budgets on a much wider range of monetization options than players in other regions.
Developers who embrace experimentation and innovation, particularly around monetization, will be well-placed to take advantage of APAC’s mobile-first, engaged user base.