North America is expected to dominate the social gaming market due to the high adoption rate of games, strong internet infrastructure, and connectivity. The presence of global key players in this region and their continuous efforts to provide best gaming platforms will boost the social gaming market.
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Global Social Gaming Market size is anticipated to grow exponentially in the coming years impelled by high internet penetration rate coupled with the easy availability of games and gaming platform options such as mobiles, tablets, and personal computers. The social gaming industry has evolved into a full-fledged and lucrative market due to the increased popularity of freemium games and rise in the number of mobile game providers. Also, the availability of skilled game developers is also expected to contribute to the rapid introduction of new and advanced social gaming platforms. As the popularity of smartphones and tablets continues to expand, the global market is likely to show a remarkable growth during the forecast period.
The social gaming market is growing at a rapid pace on account of the increasing adoption of advanced gaming technologies, rising income levels, low cost of games, increase in online content, and digital distribution, which allow users to download the content on their systems. Popular social gaming genres such as social casino is likely to drive the market growth during the forecast period due to the increasing social gaming traffic. Furthermore, penetration of cloud-based applications and availability of devices that provide augmented reality gaming experiences also open new avenues for the market.
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For instance, Sony launched Project Morpheus, a virtual-reality system for the PlayStation 4. It takes gaming to the next level by transporting the players in the virtual world of their games. The use of head up and head-mounted displays are being increased to improve the social gaming experience. Another driver that offers a promising growth of the global social gaming market is the availability of mobile wallets as payment instruments on app stores such as Google Play Store and Apple App Store.
The key challenges for the social gaming market growth such as lack of funding, poor internet infrastructure, and increasing piracy need to be addressed. Also, restrictions on the usage of social media websites in some countries are likely to hamper the market growth. Moreover, other factors hindering the growth are the platforms that lack stringent age verification process and conversion of social gamers to real money gamblers.
The well-established and emerging economies in the Asia-Pacific region are majorly contributing to the social gaming market growth. Major growth determinants of the market include growing young population, rising per capita expenditure, and the emergence of new technologies such as 3D modeling and virtual reality. These technologies offer an extraordinary experience to the gamers. Economies including India, China, South Korea, and Japan are expected to open new avenues for local and foreign mobile game investors during the forecast timeline. For instance, in January 2018, a Chinese gaming company AGTech in partnership with Paytm launched Gamepind, a mobile gaming platform. Gamepind acts as a marketing platform for merchants to engage with mobile shoppers and casual gamers.
Some of the key players operating in the social gaming market are Microsoft, Nintendo, Rovio Entertainment, NVIDIA, Valve Corporation, PlayJam, Playdom, Bluestack Systems, Gameloft, and Sony. These companies are largely focusing on strategic alliances and product differentiations to strengthen their position resulting in overall growth of the social gaming market. For instance, in April 2018, Scientific Games launched online sports betting platform for Szerencsejáték Zrt., a gaming service provider in Hungary.
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This omnichannel platform supports advanced gaming technology while providing a seamless gaming experience for the players. Similarly, in November 2017, Flowplay entered into a strategic alliance with Dragonchain to develop an in-game monetization platform using blockchain technology for casual social games. This platform increases the security and transparency for the players and eventually promotes the exchange of in-game digital goods across the gaming ecosystem. By entering into strategic alliances or by offering highly differentiated products in terms of price, features, or applications, these companies will be able to create their strong presence in the global social gaming market.