There is no better feeling in the world than popping a colour bomb in Candy Crush Saga or winning a long game of Ludo. The rapid development of technology has enabled us to enter new worlds, slip into the skin of our favourite characters and even become the best Pokemon trainer with just a few screen taps. And the best part—we can do all of this on the go!
So if you’re up for a first-person adventure through some amazing gaming on mobile statistics, read along!
Global Mobile Gaming Market Statistics
1. There were 2.5 billion mobile gamers in 2020.
(HotPlay) (Business of Apps)
The number of people playing video games on mobile increased by 12% from 2019 to 2020, reaching an incredible 2.5 billion. Even more impressive, the share of mobile players out of the 2.7 billion gamers in the world is much higher than that of PC players (1.3 billion) and console gamers (0.8 billion).
The number of players was not the only thing that went up during the Covid-19 lockdowns—spending on mobile games also surged to over $19 billion in the second quarter of 2020 alone.
2. 78% of Thailand’s population played mobile games as of September 2020.
Global mobile phone gaming statistics point to Thailand as the country with the highest mobile gaming penetration rate. Falling only 1% behind, the Philippines also had a high mobile gaming reach, as did Singapore (72%), Indonesia (72%) and Taiwan (71%).
With mobile gaming penetration of 52%, the UK is ranked somewhere in the middle, i.e. lower than the US (59%) but higher than some other European countries like Germany (47%) and France (41%).
3. The number of new gamers in the UK increased by 50% between March and July 2020.
Following the Covid-19 restrictions around the world, many new mobile gamers emerged. More specifically, the mobile gaming audience increased by 25%-34% in Germany, South Korea, and the United States. On the other hand, mobile gaming industry statistics show the UK witnessed the biggest increase, recording 8.6 new mobile gamers.
4. Amazon bought Twitch for one billion US dollars in 2014.
The potential high revenue and growth of the mobile gaming industry have caught the eye of large non-gaming companies looking to make even bigger profits. This has led to retail giant Amazon buying the ultra-popular live streaming platform Twitch in 2014. The same year also saw Facebook acquiring the famous VR gaming company Oculus for $3 billion and Microsoft purchasing Swedish video game developer Mojang for $2.5 billion.
5. Among Us was downloaded over a quarter billion times worldwide in 2020.
The online multiplayer game launched in 2018 finally gained momentum during the Covid-19 pandemic, becoming the top mobile and PC game in 2020. Among Us was also the most played mobile game among UK adults, registering 1.2 million players aged 18-24.
Smartphone Video Game Usage
6. Mobile games make up more than 43% of the total time spent on smartphones.
Mobile games are so popular that almost half the time people spend on their phones is dedicated to games. What’s more, 62% of smartphone owners install a game on their phones in the first week after purchasing the device.
7. 78% of mobile gamers downloaded casual games in 2020.
Casual games were the most downloaded in 2020, according to mobile gaming market statistics. 20% of downloaded games were core games, while only 2% were casino games.
In terms of time spent playing, core games take the lead with 55%. By contrast, casual and casino games account for 43% and 2% of total time spent, respectively.
8. 14.1 billion games were downloaded across both Google Play and App Store in Q1 2021.
The latest mobile gaming download statistics report that the majority of games, or 11.8 billion, were taken from Google Play. By contrast, iPhone users downloaded 2.3 billion games on the Apple App Store.
The Covid-19 pandemic certainly helped boost mobile gaming app downloads, specifically on Android. Game statistics show that downloads went up from 8.2 billion in Q2 2019 to 12.4 billion the following year.
UK Mobile Phone Gaming Statistics
9. The UK’s mobile gaming penetration increased by 16% in 2020/21.
39% of British adults aged 16 and over played mobile games at least once in the period from October 2020 to January 2021. This represents a significant increase from the previous year’s 23% and an even bigger growth from 2009 when mobile phone gaming penetration in the UK stood at just 6%.
10. UK users spent about £1.5 billion on mobile gaming in 2020.
2020 mobile gaming industry statistics report that consumer spending on mobile games in the UK reached its peak during the year of Covid-19. The sum of 1.5 billion pounds represents an increase from the £1.21 billion recorded in 2019, or a 21.3% year-over-year growth.
11. 62% of Brits play mobile games while relaxing at home.
A 2019 Statista survey on smartphone owner’s gaming habits shows that the majority played games while relaxing in their homes. Another 31% played while watching TV, while a quarter entertained themselves with mobile games on their way to and from work.
17% of respondents said that they start the day with mobile games, whereas 24% played around bedtime. On the other hand, only 5% stated they played games on their mobiles while eating out, mobile phone gaming statistics report.
12. New mobile gamers in the UK spent an average of 13.8 hours per week on gaming apps as of October 2020.
As per recent mobile gaming statistics, players in the UK who started gaming in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic played for more hours a week than existing gamers. More precisely, existing mobile gamers in the UK spent 11.1 hours per week on gaming apps as of October 2020, as opposed to new players who spent an average of 13.8 hours/week.
13. 49% of UK players were interested in or played puzzle games.
Based on a November 2020 survey, puzzle games were the most popular genre in the UK—almost half of the mobile gamers in the country played or were interested in playing these kinds of games.
Trivia and action games were each chosen by 35% of respondents, while simulation and strategy categories were preferred by 31% of interviewees.
Statistics of Mobile Gaming Demographics
14. 43% of all female mobile phone users in the UK played games in 2020/21.
Mobile gaming statistics by gender tell us that playing games on smartphones is more popular among British women than men. In fact, an online survey reveals that 43% of women play games on their phones as opposed to 35% of men. On top of that, the number of women who use smartphones for gaming more than doubled compared to last year, while the share of men only increased by 9%.
Men, however, seem to be keener on using other devices for gaming. Thus, 32% of male adult gamers in the UK use games consoles and 29% use computers. By contrast, only 21% of female gamers play on consoles or computers.
15. 58% of people aged 16-24 in the UK played mobile games in 2020/21.
Unsurprisingly, the majority of the younger population played games on their mobile phones. More specifically, 58% of 16 to 24 year-olds and 51% of the 25 to 34 age group used smartphones for gaming.
Even though statistics of mobile gaming demographics show a double-digit increase among all generations, the 35 to 44 age group saw the biggest growth of 24% between 2019 and 2020.
Mobile Gaming Revenue Statistics
16. Mobile gaming accounts for 57% of the global video games market.
Mobile gaming, growth statistics report, has witnessed a significant boost in revenue, with this segment already outgrowing the value of the PC and console markets combined. In fact, globally, mobile gaming generated $98 billion last year, taking up more than half of the 173 billion dollar revenue of the video games industry.
17. Smartphone and tablet devices make up 46% of the UK’s online gaming industry.
In 2020, smartphone and tablet devices made up the largest share of online gaming revenue in the UK. Mobile gaming accounted for 46% of total income, whereas consoles contributed 32% and desktops/laptops 22%.
18. The mobile gaming market is expected to reach $153.3 billion by 2027.
In other words, the mobile gaming market is forecast to grow at a rate of 11.5% over the following seven years. Smartphone, mobile gaming revenue statistics project, will increase at a 12.6% CAGR to $139.1 billion. The tablet segment, on the other hand, should grow at a much lower rate of 3.8%.
China is one of the countries expected to see the biggest growth in the analysed period—growing by 11.9% up to 2027. Other markets that will see development include Japan (11.6% CAGR), Canada (9.7%) and Germany (9.3%).
19. 77% of the revenue of mobile casino games comes from in-app purchases.
The other 23% is generated through ads, the latest mobile gaming market statistics reveal. In-app purchases also generated most of the revenue in action (69%) and adventure games (81%).
Contrastingly, advertising made up 63% of the arcade gaming apps’ revenue, leaving only 27% to in-app purchases.
In terms of region, mobile games in Europe made 67% of their revenue through in-app sales and 33% from advertisement in 2020. In comparison, 60% of mobile gaming app revenues in China consisted of ads.
20. RPG revenue grew by $3.6 billion YOY in 2020.
RPG was the top genre by revenue in 2020, accumulating $21.9 billion. Next up were Strategy ($15.1 billion) and Puzzle ($8.5 billion) games.
On the other hand, Simulation games saw the highest year-over-year growth of 53%, reaching $4.1 billion. Shooter games followed with 50% growth, while casino games grew by 46%.
Future Trends in Mobile Gaming
21. Mobile games are increasingly used as social networks.
Recent gaming on mobile statistics point to the use of mobile gaming as a way to increase social activity. For instance, 55% of frequent gamers say video games help them stay in touch with their friends, while 40% state that they have met people through video games that they wouldn’t otherwise have met.
One way to increase socialisation through mobile games is playing online or in multiplayer mode. That’s why 32% of new mobile gamers in the UK said they prefer chatting with others while playing games, whereas 49% stated they like being a part of a team when playing, and 30% would rather play in multiplayer mode or online than single player.
22. 34% of gamers believe a rewarded video ad will induce more in-app purchases.
(New Digital Age)
The constant changes in consumer behaviour have prompted mobile game developers to remodel their advertising strategies and introduce playable ads. Rewarded video ads where users watch full-screen videos in exchange for in-game rewards are more popular as opposed to static interstitial ads enjoyed by only 11% of gamers. Even 79% of developers using both formats agree that rewarded videos work better.
23. Cloud gaming’s SOM is expected to grow to 124.7 million users by 2022.
Cloud gaming may sound like a thing of the future, but according to mobile gaming industry statistics, this trend is very much present today. As a matter of fact, the global value of the cloud gaming market is expected to increase from $0.63 billion in 2020 to about $1.45 billion by the end of 2021.
24. VR’s global content revenue grew by 31.7% in 2019.
(Road to VR)
A report from PwC points to VR being the fastest-growing media sector, gathering about $1.8 billion in global content revenue. Predictions also show that it will remain the media sector with the highest annual growth rate of 30.3%, potentially reaching $6.9 billion in revenues in 2025. The PwC report further indicates that games were the primary drivers of VR content revenue in 2020.
25. 1.96 billion people will use mobile AR in 2021.
Around 600 million gamers used AR last year, a huge jump from the 200 million recorded in 2015. What’s more, the latest gaming on mobile statistics predict that there will be roughly 1.96 billion AR users in 2021, 85 million of which are believed to come from the US alone. Furthermore, it is estimated that 2.4 billion people will be using advanced mobile AR technology by 2023.
26. 43% of active smartphones will be 5G-compatible by 2023.
Newzoo estimates that by 2023, 43% of smartphones will be compatible with 5G, opening up so many possibilities for mobile gaming, including lower latency rates, improved multiplayer experience and better streaming opportunities for live service games.
27. 23% of gaming executives believe blockchain makes the game more secure.
Mobile gaming revenue is expected to grow even higher in the upcoming years, heavily influenced by trends like cloud-based gaming or cryptocurrency games. According to a 2019 Statista survey, almost a quarter of gaming execs stated that blockchain has a positive impact on the security of the game. What’s more, 19% of them believed this technology established customer trust, and 17% of the respondents thought it helps to reduce costs.
Android vs iOS Statistics
28. Games make up the lion’s share of revenue for both iOS and Android devices.
(Business of Apps)
Android and iOS generated $111 billion in total app revenue last year, with games accounting for 71% of total gains. More detailed stats reveal that iOS recorded revenue of $47.6 billion, while Google Play generated $31.9 billion from gaming apps.
29. Bringing in over 30.98 million, Uma Musume Pretty Derby was the highest-grossing gaming app for iPhone across the world.
Second in line was fan-favourite AR game Pokemon GO, which raised $29.18 million in revenue from iPhone users, July 2021 iOS gaming statistics reveal.
Over at Google Play, Coin Masters was the top-grossing gaming app, making $117.9 million from Android users in july 2021. Candy Crush Saga was ranked second, generating $66.88 million the same month.
Stats and Facts on Mobile Gaming Publishers
30. In terms of revenue, Tencent was the biggest mobile publisher in 2020.
Per Tencent’s 2019 financial report, the China-based company documented a 10% year on year revenue growth. NetEase, another Chinese giant, takes second place with $6.7 billion in revenues thanks to its deal with Activision Blizzard to publish World of Warcraft in China.
31. PUBG was Tencent’s most popular game in 2020.
Tencent’s huge first-person shooter was undeniably their biggest hit for 2020, being downloaded 223.31 million times and generating a revenue of $1,75 billion.
32. With over 21.4 million iPhone downloads worldwide, Voodoo is one of the biggest mobile game publishers.
The French-based publisher Voodoo, famous for its free-to-play games, was the biggest in terms of downloads in July 2021. Lion Studios is also among the top three, ranking second with 9.69 million downloads made on iOS.
Taking a look at revenues generated from gaming apps downloaded on iPhone, Tencent Mobile Games takes the lead with $134 million made in April 2021. Following closely is NetEase, with $65.2 million in gaming app revenue.
33. Lion Studios was the most popular gaming app publisher on Google Play, with more than 81.8 million downloads.
Outfit7 secured the second spot with over 65.4 million gaming app downloads made from Android devices.
Revenue-wise, Moon Active comes in at first place with an astounding $118.88 million gathered from Google Play. King is ranked right after with $91.96 million earned from Android apps.
Mobile Game Download Statistics
34. PUBG Mobile was the highest-grossing game in the first half of 2021.
Generating $832 million in the first six months of the year, PUBG Mobile is well ahead of the second-ranked Honour of Kings, which brought in a total of $664.3 million in the same period. Making $576 million and $467 million, respectively, Genshin Impact and Roblox are in third and fourth place, while Pokémon GO rounds off the top five with revenue of 447 million US dollars.
35. Fidget Trading 3D was the most downloaded gaming app on both Google Play and the Apple App Store in the UK.
The cross-platform game was the most downloaded gaming app both by iOS (487.374 downloads) and Android users in the UK (476.6 thousand downloads).
The second most popular on Google Play was Count Masters, which achieved around 417.8 thousand downloads from users in Great Britain.
When it comes to iOS gaming, statistics reveal that Run Rich 3D was the second most downloaded game (450.416 downloads), while Count Masters came in third with 434.165 downloads.
Stats on In-App Purchases in Games
36. In-app purchase revenue reached $120 billion across app stores.
In-app purchases are specifically favoured among gaming apps, with 79% of them profiting off in-app sales and 50% of other apps following suit. These purchases are constantly gaining popularity and won’t slow down, as the revenue from IAP is estimated to reach 156.5 billion by 2022.
37. Casino app users made an average of 1.92 IAP transactions in 2020.
Not only did casino gamers make the most average transactions, but they also are the biggest spenders. Paying casino app consumers spent an average of $11.92 per in-game transaction. Word game players come last with an average in-app purchase value of $4.94 and 1.32 transactions made in 2020.
38. Video game loot boxes are expected to make $20.3 billion in yearly revenues in 2025.
(Statista) (Wiley Online Library)
Loot boxes, a popular way for players to make in-app purchases, were a huge hit in 2020. Actually, as many as 59% of the top iOS games contained loot boxes, as did 58% of the most popular games on Google Play.
What’s more, in 2020, loot boxes generated a total of $15,265.4 in annual revenues. This amount, loot boxes statistics predict, is projected to rise over the next five years to $20.3 billion.
Loot boxes facts and statistics further reveal that 94.9% of iPhone mobile games and 93.1% of Android games approved for children aged 12+ contained loot boxes, raising concerns that these rewards in games could act as a gateway to gambling addiction among young children.
As the gaming on mobile statistics above show, this segment has seen incredible growth recently. With 5G rolling out and more and more publishers transferring popular games on smartphones, it’s only a matter of time before mobile takes over PCs and consoles as the device of choice for both casual and hard-core gamers.
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