UPDATE September 2018 — While the novelty of mobile gaming may be a thing of the past, mobile games have never been more sophisticated and complex. The billion-dollar industry has attracted entrepreneurs, investors, advertisers, content creators, and of course, gamers, and it’s still growing rapidly. Revenue and user bases grow each year and will continue to grow with new developments like synchronous multi-player formats and livestreaming opportunities.
We’ve found the top mobile gaming statistics that demonstrate how mobile games have grown in the last few years and how the industry will only get bigger.
Here are 9 mobile gaming statistics relevant to marketers today:
Mobile games exceeded expectations on revenue generation. By the end of 2016, mobile games were expected to reach $35 billion, however, actual revenue was over $40.6 billion. Asia generates the most revenue in mobile games at $24.8 billion. North America and Europe come in second and third in mobile gaming revenue at $6.9 billion and $5.7 billion respectively. Mobile games are able to generate revenue in a couple of ways, including app purchase, in-app purchase, and third-party advertising.
UPDATE: Increasing revenue by nearly $10 billion to $50.4 billion in 2017, mobile gaming growth has shown no signs of slowing down.
Mobile games total an estimated 800,000 apps on app stores. To compare, Apple’s App Store houses a total of 2.2 million apps. This means that mobile gaming apps represent over a third of the total apps available on the App Store. The revenue generated per mobile game was predicted to be about $40,000, but current metrics on mobile game revenue suggests that the average revenue generated per mobile game is much higher.
UPDATE: Mobile gaming makes up a fair share of the apps pie, accounting for 811,911 of apps on the App Store in 2018.
Downloads of mobile games are higher than ever, and will not likely slow in the coming years. By the beginning of 2017, apps and games reached 90 billion downloads in the Google Play and Apple’s App Store, a 15% increase from the year before. Growth in mobile game downloads was greatest in Google Play, driven by China. Apple’s App Store was similarly driven by China, which contributed 80% of Apple’s growth.
UPDATE: A report on mobile gaming revenue shows that it increased 30% year-over-year to an estimated $48.3 billion, which roughly equates to 82% of all app revenue.
Mobile gaming is surpassing more traditional forms of gaming. Generating 37% of total video-game revenue in 2016, mobile gaming apps represent more than a third of the entire video game industry. Current figures reflect a 21.3% year-over-year growth and suggest that mobile gaming revenue has already surpassed PC gaming and console gaming for the first time. As smartphone graphics and processors improve, gamers are likely to either move to mobile or supplement their existing gaming experience with mobile games.
UPDATE: In line with representing the largest segment, mobile gaming industry now accounts for more than 50% of the global games market, which reached $137.9 billion in 2018.
The advance of affordable smartphones and tablets have made mobile gaming possible and popular. Of the 2.7 billion smartphones and 750 million tablets owned by consumers,an estimated 1.75 billion smartphones and tablets are used to play games. Smartphones, in particular, are boosting mobile game downloads as 62% of smartphone owners will install a game within a week of getting a new phone.
Time spent on mobile gaming apps is increasing every year. The amount of time spent on mobile gaming apps increased from 32% of the total time on spent on smartphones in 2014 to 43% by the beginning of 2017. From 2016 to 2017, time spent on mobile gaming apps increased by 15%. In the U.S., an average adult will spend approximately 23 minutes per day playing games on a mobile app.
A study conducted by Nielsen found that mobile gaming is indiscriminate in gender. The report shows that smartphone and tablet gaming is appealing to 51% of men and 49% of women. By comparison, 65% of console gamers are men. Additionally, mobile gamers tend to be older than console gamers. The differences in mobile gaming demographics and console gaming demographics stem from the widespread availability of mobile gaming. As mobile devices become more affordable, both casual and hardcore gamers will be using mobile to play.
UPDATE: While mobile gaming used to be just about even between male and female gamers, approximately 63% of mobile gamers are female.
Related Post: The 10 Top Female Gamers On YouTube
Puzzle games are the most popular genre in mobile gaming and are present on 58% of mobile gamers’ devices. By comparison, 40% of gamers are playing action games and 26% are playing simulation games on mobile. However, action games have the highest share of game installs at 30% — double the number of installs for any other genre aside from mobile arcade games. Moreover, action games are quick to play and have a retention rate is that 70% higher than that of puzzle games.
iOS continues to yield higher spending on mobile gaming in the U.S., but that’s not the case internationally. In fact, Android gamers represent 78% of the global mobile gaming market and can be worth eight times more than iOS players in the country. This is reflected by the large growth in installs of and revenue from games in Google Play.