Over the past few years, the eSports industry has enjoyed tremendous growth with mobile eSport games predicted to be one of its fastest growing sectors. According to the research data analyzed and published by Safe Betting Sites, these games already account for more than 25% of all mobile games revenue.
In 2019, mobile eSports games generated $19.5 billion in revenues worldwide. Considering that the 2018 total revenue globally was $15.3 billion, it marked an increment of 27.5% in a single year. The 2018 figure represented 25.2% of total revenues in the mobile gaming industry. During the first half of 2019, the proportion was even higher, which was at 26.2%.
Growth across both PC/console and mobile eSports is good. However, the mobile eSports games industry is on track to outpace PC gaming in terms of revenue. In 2018, PC esports generated $16.1 billion in gross revenue.
Similar trends can be seen with regard to mobile gaming in general, in comparison to PC/console gaming. According to data published by Newzoo, global revenue from mobile gaming was $68.5 billion in 2019. It estimates that 2020 revenue would reach $77.2 billion, marking a 13.3% increase YoY.
The report predicts that by the end of 2020, the PC gaming market revenue share will only be 23%, while console gaming will have a 31% share. On the other hand, mobile and tablet gaming will have a 46% share. By 2022, the latter will account for more than half of all gaming revenue.
eSports Most Popular Game Garners 11M Views in 2019, 11 Times Higher than in 2018
The incredible growth of mobile eSports is well illustrated by PUBG Mobile, one of the most popular gaming titles. In 2019, the PUBG Mobile Club Open got a total of 11 million views, which was 11 times higher than the previous year. For the tournament prize pool, over $2 million was up for grabs.
Call of Duty: Mobile is yet another case in point. In the first two months of its release, the game had over 172 million downloads according to SensorTower. Less than a year following its launch, it had surpassed 250 million downloads, generating over $327 million in player spending worldwide.
One of the factors contributing to the growth in mobile eSports revenue is accessibility. Data published by Statista places the number of smartphone users globally in 2020 at 3.5 billion. This translates to more than 44.85% of the global population. It is also a considerable increase from only 2.6 billion in 2016, which was 33.58% of the global population at the time.
Notably, a majority of smartphone users use their devices for gameplay. For instance, in Latin America, 60% of smartphone users play mobile games. And in Africa, the figure is even higher, at 70%.
The upsurge experienced in mobile eSports in 2019 had emerging markets in Southeast Asia at the forefront of the growth. As a whole, the region experienced a CAGR of 24%, while Japan grew by 20.4% and Latin America by 17.9%.
Malaysia Mobile Gaming Revenue Grows by $100M in 2019, Overtaking PC
As the rest of the world waits with bated breath for mobile eSports to overtake PC, Malaysia and Singapore are already there. Over the past four years, mobile gaming in general has taken center stage in both countries, overtaking PC.
In 2019, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang (MLBB) by Moonton took the lead in the region with $20.9 million as the total revenue. PUBG Mobile came in second with $16.9 million while Garena Free Fire: Rampage was third with $15.3 million.
According to a Niko Partners report, mobile gaming revenue in Malaysia grew by around $100 million, at a rate of 17.7% in 2019. Comparatively, PC gaming only saw an increase of $35 million, growing at a 15% rate during the same year.
Similarly, in Singapore, mobile gaming enjoyed a growth rate of 14.8%, amounting to $35 million between 2017 and 2019. Within the same period, PC gaming grew at a rate of 5.1%, registering an increase of $5 million.
In addition to a general mobile eSports craze in the region, the growth can be attributed to the support of telco companies. In Malaysia, Yoodo, the first and only telco company, experienced a 25% rise in signups following its release of a data add-on dedicated to PUBG Mobile. Singapore’s Singtel has similarly partnered with telcos in the Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia for eSports and mobile gaming projects.
Notably, the first ever international tournament for MLBB took place in Kuala Lumpur in 2019. A match between Todak from Malaysia and RRQ from Indonesia saw over 650,000 viewers concurrently watching on YouTube Gaming. Lastly, Tencent’s global tournament, the PUBG Mobile Club Open Fall Split Global Finals 2019, also took place in Malaysia.