The year 2020 will be remembered as the year that changed the course of business operations across various industries. But while many businesses have been negatively hit by the lockdowns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, there are also those that have thrived during the global crisis.
Mobile gaming is one of the industries that have grown during one of the worst years in the modern-day economy. And with its growth, it has also provided opportunities for other professions, such as graphic designers who mainly rely on graphic design software to get the job done even remotely. This industry’s sustainability, however, is so much more than its capability to smoothly operate even outside brick-and-mortar offices. In this article, we have gathered the recent and essential mobile gaming statistics you should know in 2021.
Mobile Gaming Market Statistics
2020 has been a bleak year for many industries. The video game, market, however, has not only remained as digital media’s highest-grossing segment, but it has also achieved a new peak in terms of revenue. Compared to 2019’s revenue of $126,312 million, the video game segment crossed the $135,000 million mark (Statista, 2020). Based on the data, the significant growth was mainly due to the lockdowns that made more people seek more forms of entertainment, particularly mobile games. Furthermore, among the sub-segments of video games, mobile gaming also takes the top spot as the fastest-growing video game sub-segment across all regions.
- 45% of the gaming industry’s revenue in 2020 comes from mobile games. (Wijman, 2020)
- $77.2 billion – the estimated revenue of the mobile gaming market in 2020. (Gu, 2020)
- The global revenue of the mobile gaming segment is projected to reach $160.6 billion in 2025. (Statista, 2020)
- In 2020, mobile gaming’s revenue growth peaked at 25.3%, which shows a nearly 10% growth from the year prior. (Statista, 2020)
- In North America, the market value of mobile gaming content is projected to reach $29.1 billion by 2022. (Capcom, 2020; Statista, n.d.)
- China also shows a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.9% in mobile games, which is the highest across all countries. (Statista, 2020)
- 83% of the video game market in China is accounted for by mobile games. (Statista, 2020)
- 5.32% of the US mobile gaming market belongs to game developer Playrix. (GameRefinery Team, 2021)
- In terms of revenue, Moon Active takes the number one spot in the US with $104.15 million as of January 2021. (Airnow PLC, 2021; Clement, 2021))
- Among app publishers in the US, Voodoo has the most downloaded games as of January 2021 with 9.7 million downloads from Google Play and 9.5 million downloads from Apple Store. (Airnow PLC, 2021; Clement, 2021))
- The average revenue per user is expected to reach $61.16 in 2021. (Statista, n.d.)
Mobile Gamer Statistics
Before the COVID-19 outbreak, the number of gamers worldwide was predicted to reach 2.4 billion (Kaplan, 2019). But due to the unprecedented crisis that placed a large portion of the world’s population under strict lockdowns, more people have jumped into the mobile gaming frenzy for entertainment and virtual social interactions. Mobile gamers, however, are more than just their number. And in this section, we will look at the statistics that focus on their demographics, behavior, and other characteristics.
- The number of gamers worldwide is now projected to reach 2.8 billion in 2021. (Wijman, 2021)
- 48% of gamers are located in the Asia Pacific region. (Conroy, 2020)
- In 2020, 523 million mobile game users live in China, which also accounted for the majority of mobile game users in the world in the same year. (Statista, 2021)
- There are 209.5 million mobile players in the US in 2020. (Alfred, 2020)
- 40% of mobile gamers are millennials and 33% are Gen Zers. (AdColony, 2020)
- 32.7% of mobile game users are 25-34 years old; they also account for the largest portion of mobile gamers based on the age group. (Statista, n.d.)
- 57.7% of mobile gamers are male and 42.9% are female. (Statista, n.d.)
- 34.1% of mobile game users are individuals who reported having a high income. (Statista, n.d.)
- The US has the highest projected user penetration in 2021 at 46.8% followed by South Korea with 44.9%. (Statista, n.d.)
- 57.29% of mobile gamers play puzzle games followed by arcade (55.6%) and action games (34.75). (Alfred, 2020)
- 55% of the time spent on mobile games in 2020 was dedicated to core games, while 43% was spent on casual games and 2% on casino games. (Sydow, 2021)
- 43% of smartphone use is spent on gaming. (Dobrilova, 2021)
- 62% of people who get a new phone will download a game within a week. (Dobrilova, 2021)
- In the US, 24% of mobile game players are “thrill-seekers.” (GameRefinery, 2021)
- 45% of gamers in the US, Japan, and Italy play more during the lockdown because they have more time to do so, while 17% play more to socialize and 16% spend more time playing games as a means of escape. (Newzoo, 2020)
Mobile Game Apps Statistics
In this section, we have gathered the relevant numbers about the leading gaming apps in terms of revenue, popularity, the number of users, and the latest number of mobile app downloads in the gaming category.
- 78% of the mobile games downloaded in 2020 are casual games like Among Us, 20% are core games, and 2% are casino games. (Sydow, 2021)
- As of Q4 2020, there are 427,256 mobile games available in Google Play and 298,290 in Apple Store. (Appfigures, 2021; Clement, 2021)
- The Battle Royale game PUBG is the top-grossing mobile game both in the Apple Store and overall with its players spending a total of $250 as of February 2021. (Chapple, 2021)
- 25% of iOS and 21% of Android downloaded apps are games. (Dobrilova, 2021)
- In the Android market, Genshin Impact is the highest-grossing game, surpassing 2 million downloads and $47 million worldwide revenue as of February 2021. (SensorTower, n.d.)
- Out of 173,471 game publishers in Google Play, 10,039 are American. (42matters, 2021)
- 7% of the games in Google Play are from American publishers. (42matters, 2021)
- As of January 2021, Among Us is the leading game among iPhone users with 5.36 million daily active users (DAU), followed by Roblox with 4.96 million DAU. (Airnow PLC, 2021; Statista, 2021)
- Only 18% of mobile games are available to both Android and iOS players. (42matters, 2021)
Mobile Game Spending Statistics
The goal of mobile game developers is to make revenue out of the games they create and publish. Even if a game is free to play, there are different ways developers and publishers can earn money from it through its users. In this section, let us take a look at how and how much money can be earned from mobile games and how what type of purchases mobile game players do.
- Free-to-play platform games are the highest monetizing games worldwide. (Unity, 2021; Clement, 2021)
- Consumers are predicted to spend around $120 billion on mobile gaming in 2021. (Sydow, 2021)
- 38% of the mobile gamers in 2020 were predicted to spend money on games. (Wijman, 2020)
- 66% of mobile gaming spending in 2020 came from core games, 23% from casual games, and 11% from casino games. (Sydow, 2021)
- Game events in 2020 reached $53 billion in global spending. (Sydow, 2021)
- Arena of Valor, PUBG Mobile, and Pokemon Go are the mobile games that have the highest consumer spend in Q4 2020. (Curry, 2021)
- Users from the US spend the most on mobile games. (Statista, 2021)
- Mobile game publishers make the most money from in-app ads. (Alfred, 2020)
- As of January 2021, Pokemon Go is the top-grossing mobile game in the Apple Store and Coin Master in Google Play, earning $27.26 million and $104.15 million in revenue, respectively. (Airnow PLC, 2021; Clement, 2021)
- In North America, 22.09% of mobile gaming revenue in Q4 2020 came from puzzle games. (GameRefinery Team, 2021)
- 62% of children age 10 to 12 years old had purchased paid games. (Clement, 2021)
- 67% of parents agreed that they worried about their children overspending on mobile games. (SellCell, 2020)
- 31% of parents said that Fortnite is the mobile game their children spend the most money on. (SellCell, 2020)
- In the case of unauthorized mobile game purchases made by their children, 30.4% reported that they were able to receive their refund immediately after contacting the store. (SellCell, 2020)
What is next on mobile gaming?
The gaming industry is evolving rapidly in its quest to continue attracting new users and keeping their loyal players interested. Despite the surge in new players in 2020 amid the COVID -19 pandemic, developers are set to innovate mobile games further in 2021 to drive adoption and to keep up with the mobile app trends.
According to Venture Beat, the hypercasual concept is bound to be adopted in different gaming genres due to its simplicity, which a growing niche of mobile gamers is after. Also, more users are drawn to personalizing their gaming experience by having control over the flow of the game’s storyline. As a result, the number of choice-based games also increases.
With the threat of the coronavirus still hanging over our heads, mobile games are being redesigned to accommodate social spaces for their players. Popular games like Call of Duty and Roblox have “hangout spaces” where players from all over the world can interact with one another and establish an online community.
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