We’ve come a long way since the days when everybody played Snake on their Nokia phone. It became hugely successful for the Finnish mobile maker, ending up on 350 million devices worldwide. Nowadays people download highly sophisticated games from the app stores, and although most are cheap to buy or often free, publishers make a considerable amount of revenue from in-app purchases. But just how big is the mobile gaming industry? We’ve collated a selection of recent mobile gaming statistics.
Mobile games still suffer some limitations compared to PC and console games, though. They tend to be smaller in scale and must work within the devices’ storage and memory limits. However, they’re substantially more sophisticated than the games of the past, with better graphics and performance than many past consoles and even arcade machines.
Many developers have taken advantage of the fact that these games are mobile and used localization technology like GPS to make their games genuinely location-based. This means that games are possible on mobile games that would be impossible on a PC or a console tethered to a TV.
What’s more, just like with eCommerce, the COVID-19 pandemic actually had a positive impact on the mobile gaming industry. Instead of using the time stuck indoors to clear out closets, many opted to accumulate virtual coins. While it might be less productive, hearing those chings as you make your way through a game definitely sparks joy.
20 Mobile Gaming Statistics That Will Blow You Away | Mobile Gaming Industry Stats:
- 1. The Global Gaming Industry Is Now Worth More Than $300 Billion
- 2. Tencent Is the Leading iPhone Gaming App Publisher
- 3. Supersonic Studios Is the Leading Gaming App Publisher in the Google Play Store
- 4. The Number of Mobile Gamers Has Risen to 3 Billion
- 5. Mobile Game Consumer Spending Has Reached $41.2 Billion
- 6. Diablo Immortal Generated More Than $100 Million in Mobile Player Spending
- 7. Candy Crush Is the Top Grossing iPhone App
- 8. Subway Surfers and Garena Free Fire Among the Top Mobile Games by Downloads
- 9. 14.4 Billion Mobile Games Downloaded Globally Across App Store and Google Play
- 10. Arcade Is the Fastest-Rising Game Genre
- 11. Gen Alpha and Gen Z Are the Most Active Console and Mobile Gamers
- 12. Most Games Come from Studios with US Headquarters
- 13. Female-oriented Games Offer Great Potential
- 14. Events Is the Top Gameplay Feature In Western Markets
- 15. Ad Removal Is the Most Popular Game Monetization Method
- 16. Children’s Mobile Game Spending Can Be As Much as $100 a Month
- 17. Cost to Acquire a Player Increases
- 18. The Most Loyal Gamers Come From North America
- 19. More Than a Third of Gamers in the US Are in the 25-34 Age Group
- 20. The In-game Advertising Market Is Anticipated to Grow by 7.08%
- Frequently Asked Questions
1. The Global Gaming Industry Is Now Worth More Than $300 Billion
Previously, Newzoo’s gaming revenue predictions forecasted the total gaming revenue for 2021 to be worth $174 billion. Now it's 2022, and the predicted figure has almost doubled. At the moment, the industry’s worth is a staggering $300 billion. The impact of the pandemic, which led people to get into games to relieve boredom and stress, has definitely helped catapult the figures.
The trend hasn't stopped growing; data shows that on average, gamers spend 16 hours per week playing games. They also spend around eight hours a week watching or participating in gaming streams. Apart from that, gamers put in around six hours a week interacting in different game forums or communities.
2. Tencent Is the Leading iPhone Gaming App Publisher
For a couple of years, Tencent, a Chinese multinational tech conglomerate, has grown its gaming empire. In 2021, it was the biggest iPhone gaming app publisher across the globe in terms of revenue and the third biggest in terms of downloads. The company still holds the top spot as of June 2022, with $77.8 million in app revenues.
3. Supersonic Studios Is the Leading Gaming App Publisher in the Google Play Store
As of June of this year, Supersonic Studios was the most popular publisher for gaming apps in the Google Play Store in the US, with over 5.81 million downloads. Next on the list is VOODOO, which generated over 4.82 million downloads to US Android devices.
4. The Number of Mobile Gamers Has Risen to 3 Billion
There are now 3 billion new gamers as of July 2022, which is +5.3% more than last year. More than 50% of these new gamers reside in the Asia-Pacific region. The rise can be attributed to several factors, including an increase in the number of casual/pro gamers, an increase in viewership due to the growth of the esports fandom, an increase in the number of viewers watching live streams of different genres, and a whole lot more.
5. Mobile Game Consumer Spending Has Reached $41.2 Billion
Mobile gamers have spent $41.2 billion during the first half of 2022. During that period, Google Play generated $15.6 billion, with Tencent’s Honor of Kings and PUBG Mobile becoming the highest revenue-generating games, with each earning over $1 billion in consumer spending.
6. Diablo Immortal Generated More Than $100 Million in Mobile Player Spending
Diablo Immortal is just one of the existing video game franchises going mobile. As of July 2022, mobile player spending for the game exceeded $100 million eight weeks after its release. It still didn't beat the record of the most popular video game IP on mobile of all time, which is Pokémon GO. In just two weeks, Pokémon GO earned $100 million in mobile player spending.
7. Candy Crush Is the Top Grossing iPhone App
As of June 2022, Candy Crush ranked number one in mobile gaming for iPhone in the US. According to data gathered by Statista, the game brought in approximately $8.49 million. In second place is Pokémon GO, generating about $7.54 million.
8. Subway Surfers and Garena Free Fire Among the Top Mobile Games by Downloads
As of April 2022, Subway Surfers from Sybo Games held the top position as the most downloaded mobile game in the world, garnering 26.6 million installs. According to data from Sensor Tower, this shows a 2.1 times increase from the same period last year. India is the country with the most installs of the game during this period, accounting for approximately 18% of the total downloads. The United States is at second, with 8.2%.
Globally, the second most popular mobile game was Garena Free Fire from Garena, installed 25.2 million times. This shows a 41.8% increase from the same month last year. India had the largest number of Garena Free Fire installs at 33.6% (for Free Fire Max), and Indonesia followed with 10%.
Ludo King, Roblox, and Fill The Fridge were also included in the top five most downloaded mobile games worldwide for April.
9. 14.4 Billion Mobile Games Downloaded Globally Across App Store and Google Play
A whopping 14.4 billion games were downloaded from Apple’s and Google’s respective app stores during the first quarter of 2022. The pandemic contributed to the significant boost in downloads for mobile gaming apps.
10. Arcade Is the Fastest-Rising Game Genre
Based on the second quarter of 2022, arcade had the fastest revenue growth among mobile game genres, with player spending rising 18% YOY to $89.4 million. Meanwhile, hyper-casual ranked second with $27.3 million in player spending, up 2.3% from last year.
11. Gen Alpha and Gen Z Are the Most Active Console and Mobile Gamers
Demographics show that Gen Alpha and Gen Z have the highest percentage of console and mobile players, with Millennials coming in third. 77% of active console players are members of Gen Alpha and Gen Z, and most of them are between the ages of 10 and 22. Meanwhile, 79% of active mobile players fall within the Gen Alpha and Gen Z demographics as well.
12. Most Games Come from Studios with US Headquarters
Apptica data shows that the majority of mobile games are created by studios with headquarters located in the United States, which account for 17 positions. This is followed by Ireland, Israel, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malta, the United Kingdom, Finland, Germany, and Austria.
13. Female-oriented Games Offer Great Potential
A study completed by Newzoo, a gaming intelligence provider, and Google Play revealed that female gamers and gender minorities are a lot more involved than what many game developers believe. Their study revealed a few interesting findings that include:
- 49% of mobile gamers are women
- 65% of women aged 10 - 65 in the United States play mobile games
- 43% of women (compared to only 38% of men) play 5+ times per week
Yet, women are still underrepresented and there are signs of gender bias as illustrated by these stats:
- 60% of women who play mobile games feel that less than a third of mobile games are created for women
- A quarter of men who play mobile games will spend more time playing mobile games if they knew they were competing against only men
- Only 27.8% of the gaming industry is female, transgender, or another gender identity
- 57% of men self-identify as gamers compared to only 29% of women
- 70% of men feel good after paying for a new game compared to only 58% of women
- Of the top 100 grossing games on Google Play, 44% more of the app icons feature male characters
Taking into account that female gamers account for almost half of the mobile gamer population and that female-oriented games like Travel Frog and Animal Crossing: New Horizons have quickly gained in popularity, the statistics suggest that female-oriented games can offer great potential.
14. Events Is the Top Gameplay Feature In Western Markets
In 2020, events proved to be the top gameplay feature for app store monetization in western markets. According to App Annie Intelligence, events accounted for more than $50 billion in consumer spending worldwide. Customization drove the second highest average revenue per user (just over $47 billion), followed by leaderboards (almost $48 billion).
The growing popularity of events has led to new event trends emerging in 2021. These trends are expected to grow throughout 2022.
As a whole, social features in mobile games are expected to continue to increase. As the market is becoming more saturated, developers will need to rely on features such as activity feeds and in-game chats to keep users for longer.
15. Ad Removal Is the Most Popular Game Monetization Method
The most popular mechanic for monetization in mobile games is ad removal, according to Sensor Tower’s The State of Mobile Game Monetization 2022. Ad Removal disables all game ads. This monetization feature is available for gamers to purchase within the app. Ad Removal is mainly present in casual games because these games depend more heavily on advertisements than any other kind of game. This monetization option is used by 90% of casual games.
Other popular forms of monetization methods used in mobile games include gacha, season pass, subscription, live ops, NFT/crypto, real money, and paid game.
16. Children’s Mobile Game Spending Can Be As Much as $100 a Month
In 2020, Sell Cell completed a study that looked at the spending habits of younger US gamers. The results revealed that almost half of parents don’t let their kids make any in-app purchases without their permission. What’s more, more than 40% of these parents limit the in-app purchases that their kids make to only $10 a month. Though, 23% of parents allowed their kids to spend as much as $100 per month on mobile gaming.
17. Cost to Acquire a Player Increases
According to the Mobile App Trends 2022 released by Adjust, the cost to acquire a player increased. A median CPI of $1.74 was reported in 2020. In 2021, that average had risen to $2.18. Note that different sub-verticals showed different CPI trajectories. Sports apps experienced the biggest rise, from $1.64 to $2.52 per install. On the other hand, the average CPI decreased within specific categories of games. In hyper-casual games, for example, the average acquisition cost dropped from $0.35 to $0.28.
18. The Most Loyal Gamers Come From North America
Data collected by AppsFlyer reveals that user retention is the highest in North America. While the global user retention percentage for gaming apps on Day 30 is only 3.1%, in North America it’s slightly higher at 3.9%. What’s more, the retention rates on Day 1 and Day 3 are on average 3.6% higher than other regions.
19. More Than a Third of Gamers in the US Are in the 25-34 Age Group
According to data gathered by Statista, 35.4% of gamers in the US are in their late 20s and early 30s. It’s followed by the 18-24 age group (24.9%) and the 35-44 age group (23%). No real surprises, but only 3.8% of gamers in the US are older than 55.
20. The In-game Advertising Market Is Anticipated to Grow by 7.08%
The 2020 White Paper on Media Buying in the Global Mobile Market revealed that on average the number of mobile game advertisers increased by 7.8% in 2020 compared to 2019. Like with many of the other gaming stats, the COVID-19 pandemic was the main driving force behind this increase as around the world more time was spent at home. The majority of these advertisers were on Android.
The in-game advertising market is expected to continue to rise (by 7.08%) and hit $221.511 billion by 2027, given the rapid adoption of mobile gaming among people.
Frequently Asked Questions
How many people played mobile games in 2020?
Statistics forecast the global mobile games market will generate $189 billion in revenue by 2021, up from $179 billion in 2020. In 2021, the number of worldwide players will reach 2.8 billion, up from 2.7 billion in 2020.
Are mobile games still profitable 2020?
Mobile games are still extremely profitable and a money-making market for potential revenue. The mobile games market should grow to more than $44 billion by 2020-2024. In 2021, the number of worldwide players will reach 2.8 billion, up from 2.7 billion in 2020.
Do mobile games make money?
Mobile games make plenty of money. In 2020, Honor of Kings was the top grossing F2P title worldwide with more than $2.45 billion grossed worldwide. Peacekeeper Elite was the second most popular game grossing $2.32 billion worldwide.
What is the most profitable game in 2020?
The most popular and profitable game in 2020 was Honor of Kings. In 2020, Honor of Kings was the top grossing F2P title worldwide with more than $2.45 billion grossed worldwide. Other popular games included PUBG 2018, Minecraft, Apex Legends, and Fortnite Battle Royale.
Which is the No 1 game in the world?
As of March 2021, Roblox was the top grossing iPhone mobile gaming app in the United States. According to data gathered by Statista, it earns more than $3 million daily. Candy Crush Saga is in second place (earning $2,026,652 daily) and Coin Master in third spot (earning $1,095,882 daily).
What percentage of gaming is mobile?
In 2022, mobile gaming accounted for 45% of total video gaming revenue worldwide. Mobile gaming continues to rise quickly in popularity around the globe. Mobile game revenue is on track to surpass more than $100 billion in revenue by 2023.
How many gamers use mobile?
Around 3 billion gamers use mobile devices. This is a 5.3% rise from 2021. More than 50% of these new gamers live in the Asia-Pacific region.
How big is mobile gaming industry?
The mobile gaming industry is fast-growing. The mobile gaming market in the US is estimated around $20.3 billion dollars in 2022 – and growing.
What are the statistics of gaming?
More than 227 million people in the US alone play video games at least one to a few hours each week. Data shows that around 74% of US households have at least one member who plays video games. Likewise, roughly 76% of Americans under 18 years of age play games.