Highlights: Gaming sector

As the explosion in mobile gaming in 2010 reminded us, games are software too. In fact, if the Global Software 100 list included gaming providers, three would be in the top ten (Nintendo, Activision Blizzard, and Electronic Arts) and 21 would be in the Top 100. But game developers have nonetheless been affected by several of the same trends that are influencing the overall software industry’s direction, namely the mobile and cloud phenomena.

Gaming on smartphones has become so popular that games running on Apple’s iOS platform alone accounted for more than a fifth of portable games sold by 2010, a percentage that is likely to grow as tablet sales increase and mobile game hits call more attention to mobile devices as gaming platforms, and as game developers release more games for Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android mobile operating systems.

Even more pronounced is the movement of gaming to the Internet, both as a platform on which games are played and as a mechanism to allow gamers to play together and to access additional resources such as themes and “powers.”

Although better Web technology provides a new outlet for games, it isn’t the driving force behind the success of games; rather, it’s the social nature of the games. There’s a positive correlation between retention and the number of friends a user has on a game.

Top 5 gaming revenue
Top EMEA gaming companies
Top worldwide gaming companies