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How Big is the Global Mobile Gaming Industry?

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Mobile gaming industry size

The Briefing

  • Mobile gaming revenue for 2020 is estimated at $85 billion, more than half of the sector’s estimated $165 billion
  • Despite the launch of high-profile consoles, most gaming companies are focusing on platform-agnostic subscription services that can penetrate mobile

The Mobile Gaming Takeover

While the gaming market spotlight is focused on new consoles and games this holiday season, the bigger focus for insiders continues to be the mobile sector.

Over the last 20 years, mobile gaming has gone from the industry’s entertaining afterthought to its largest source of revenue—in 2020, the sector is estimated to have generated around $85 billion.

In light of COVID-19 keeping many consumers at home, gaming companies like Electronic Arts and Activision Blizzard have reported higher year-over-year revenues and greater market penetration than ever before.

Companies Race to Capitalize on Mobile Gaming

The massive industry growth hasn’t gone unnoticed by companies outside of the gaming sector. In fact, it has emboldened many to make billion-dollar entries into the gaming market that failed to pan out in the early 2000s.

In the bid to capture the cloud-service sphere and become the “Netflix” of gaming, major services have been launched by Microsoft, Sony, Nokia, Amazon, and Google.

At the same time, publishers have been racing to consolidate gaming franchises on the path towards building massive recurring revenue streams.

DateAcquirerTarget and SectorDeal Value (US$)
Apr. 2014FacebookOculus - VR$3.0 Billion
Aug. 2014AmazonTwitch - Streaming$1.0 Billion
Nov. 2014MicrosoftMojang - Games$2.5 Billion
Feb. 2016Activision BlizzardKing - Games$5.9 Billion
Jun. 2016TencentSupercell - Games$8.6 Billion
Feb. 2020Embracer GroupSaber Interactive - Games$0.5 Billion
Sep. 2020MicrosoftZeniMax Media - Games$7.5 Billion
Nov. 2020Take-Two InteractiveCodemasters - Games$1.0 Billion

With Sony and Microsoft’s new consoles fresh to market (and constantly sold out), next generation games hitting multiple platforms, and cloud services kicking off in earnest, traditional gaming sectors might finally start catching up to mobile.

But as the global proliferation of smartphones continues to grow, it will be an uphill challenge. With 2.7 billion estimated gamers already and growing, how much higher can the mobile gaming wave rise?

»Want a full breakdown of gaming revenue by sector? Read our full article 50 Years of Gaming History

Where does this data come from?

Source: Pelham Smithers.
Details: Research firm’s annual analysis of reported and estimated sector revenue.
Notes: This data was collected in September of 2020 and includes estimates for end-of-year.

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Datastream

Visualizing Earth’s Global Ice Loss Between 1994-2017

In just over two decades, the planet has seen 28 trillion tonnes in global ice loss. 58% of this ice loss occurred in the Northern Hemisphere.

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The Briefing

  • Due to global warming, 28 trillion tonnes of ice have melted in just over two decades
  • Over half (58%) of this global ice loss occurred in the Northern Hemisphere

Visualizing Earth’s Global Ice Loss Between 1994-2017

Nearly 70% of the Earth’s freshwater is locked up in glaciers and ice caps, ground ice, and permafrost. However, this ice is melting at an unprecedented rate.

Based on data from a new scientific survey, this visualization reveals that 28 trillion tonnes of Earth’s ice has been lost between 1994 and 2017.

How Much Ice Is Being Lost Exactly?

Figures at such scales can be difficult to wrap our heads around. For the record, one billion tonnes of water is equal to 400,000 Olympic swimming pools.

It’s then a bit easier to comprehend why, when multiplied tens of thousands of times, this much melted ice—specifically, grounded ice—has resulted in global sea levels rising by 34.6mm on average.

Cryosphere categoryIce typeChange (1994-2017)
Arctic sea iceFloating7.6 trillion tonnes
Antarctic ice shelvesGrounded6.5 trillion tonnes
Mountain glaciersGrounded6.1 trillion tonnes
Greenland ice sheetGrounded3.8 trillion tonnes
Antarctic ice sheetGrounded2.5 trillion tonnes
Southern Ocean sea iceFloating0.9 trillion tonnes

Over half (58%) of the ice loss occurred in the Northern Hemisphere, from Arctic sea ice and also grounded ice previously trapped in the Greenland ice sheet.

In fact, the rate of ice loss has risen from 0.8 trillion tonnes to 1.2 trillion tonnes per year, an increase of 57% since the 1990s.

The Impacts of the Ice Meltdown

Rapidly disappearing sea ice has severe impacts on the environment, both in the short and long term:

  • Wildlife habitat loss
  • Coastal erosion
  • Changing ocean currents
  • Extreme temperatures

While rising temperatures are behind most of this historical global ice loss, it’s worth noting that lower levels of ice lead to a positive feedback loop. Less ice means less of the sun’s heat is reflected away from the Earth, instead being absorbed back and further amplifying the global warming effect.

>>Like this? Then you might like this article on Mapping Territorial Claims in Antarctica

Where does this data come from?

Source: Slater, T. et al. “Review article: Earth’s ice imbalance”, The Cryosphere (2021)
Notes: Data from the scientific survey is based on satellite observations and numerical models. The metric measure of a “tonne” (1,000kg) has been used throughout for accuracy.

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Datastream

Coinbase Experiences Brisk User Growth Ahead of IPO

Coinbase, America’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, saw a 117% growth in transacting users from Q4 2020 to Q1 2021.

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coinbase user growth

The Briefing

  • Coinbase is the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the U.S.
  • The company added 3.3 million transacting users in Q1 2021 – a 117% increase
  • $133 billion in assets were added to the platform, totalling $223 billion in Q1 2021

Coinbase Experiences Brisk User Growth Ahead of IPO

A week before its initial public offering (IPO), Coinbase reported significant user growth for the first quarter of 2021.

In a report released on April 6, the cryptocurrency exchange claimed to have an estimated 56 million verified customers in Q1 2021—that’s an additional 13 million since Q4 2020.

What is Coinbase?

Launched in 2012, Coinbase is the largest consumer-facing cryptocurrency exchange in America.

The company offers a variety of products, such as an advanced trading platform, crypto wallets for retail investors, savings accounts for institutions, and even its own stablecoin that’s backed by the U.S. dollar.

A Surge in Monthly Users and Assets

In Q1 2021, Coinbase saw a 117% increase in transacting users compared to Q4 2020, from 2.8 million to 6.1 million. That’s the highest jump in users in the last three years:

QuarterMonthly Transacting Users% Change
Q1 20182,700,000--
Q2 20181,200,000-55.5%
Q3 2018920,000-23.3%
Q4 2018850,000-7.6%
Q1 2019800,000-5.9%
Q2 20191,300,00062.5%
Q3 20191,200,000-7.7%
Q4 20191,000,000-16.7%
Q1 20201,300,00030.0%
Q2 20201,500,00015.4%
Q3 20202,100,00040.0%
Q4 20202,800,00033.3%
Q1 20216,100,000117.9%

In addition to its growing user base, the company also reported a 147.8% uptick in assets on the platform in the last quarter, from $90 billion to $223 billion.

QuarterAssets Held on Coinbase% Change
Q1 2018$13 billion--
Q2 201812.9 billion-0.8%
Q3 201811 billion-14.7%
Q4 2018$7 billion-36.4%
Q1 2019$8 billion14.3%
Q2 2019$21 billion162.5%
Q3 2019$17 billion-19.0%
Q4 2019$17 billion--
Q1 2020$17 billion--
Q2 2020$26 billion52.9%
Q3 2020$36 billion38.5%
Q4 2020$90 billion150.0%
Q1 2021$223 billion147.8%

Industry experts believe this strong start to the year is a good indicator of the company’s future profit potential.

For instance, the investment bank DA Davidson raised Coinbase’s share price target from $195 to $440 after seeing the company’s Q1 results.

>> Liked this? Take a deeper dive into institutional trading volume on Coinbase.

Where does this data come from?

Source: Company filings via The Block

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