Mobile Killed the PC Star: Mobile Gaming Statistics for 2020

Games have been on mobile phones forever. From simple games like Tetris and Snake to mobile versions of Fortnite and Hearthstone, the smartphone is undeniably a gaming platform.

It’s an unlikely result. Smartphones don’t have keyboards, much less joysticks. Gamers crave wall-size screens, not tiny squinty phone LCDs. They want fast CPUs and hot GPUs, not an underpowered system designed for phone calls and text messaging.

No one would have predicted that mobile gaming would become the most profitable part of the gaming industry.

Key findings

  • The number of people who play mobile games is expected to reach 2.4 billion in 2019.
  • China has approximately 586 million mobile gamers.
  • North America is home to 203 million mobile gamers.
  • The mobile games industry is currently worth $68.5 billion, amounting to 45% of the total games industry.
  • The global games market is slated to reach $196 billion by 2022.
  • 63% of mobile gamers are female.

But predictions are often wrong, especially when they’re about the future. Mobile gaming statistics show things have changed. If current trends continue, mobile devices will grow in importance as gaming platforms.

Mobile gaming stats show that mobile gaming already amounts to almost half of all global game revenue – almost double the revenue of PCs and consoles. And mobile gaming has an ever-growing player base. This is a result of the growing availability of cheaper smartphones and the accessibility of mobile games that you can access anytime, anywhere.

The future of gaming is mobile.

Global Mobile Gaming Market Statistics

1. The mobile games industry is currently worth $68.5 billion, and represents 45% of the total games industry.

(Newzoo)

Mobile gaming industry statistics provided by Newzoo, one of the top game and esports analytics companies, tell us that the mobile games industry is currently worth around $68.5 billion dollars, with a 10% year-over-year growth rate. This represents 45% of the global video game industry, which is worth $152.1 billion. Additionally, according to our mobile vs desktop usage statistics, mobile gaming is expected to become a $196 billion market by the end of 2022.


2. The mobile gaming industry is expected to generate $70.3 billion in 2019.

(Statista)

Based on mobile gaming statistics for 2019, the global video game market is currently worth almost $150 billion. Mobile gaming is the dominant source of revenue here, amounting to 51% of the global market or $70.3 billion in revenue, Statista says. According to Statista’s mobile gaming market statistics, mobile gaming revenue share will grow to encompass 59% of the market in 2021 – a huge jump from 2012 when it made up only 18% of the market.


3. There are currently 2.2 billion mobile gamers in the world. That number is expected to rise to 2.4 billion by the end of 2019.

(Mediakix)

If anyone had doubts about the scope and potential of mobile gaming, this statistic is sure to cast them away. Data gathered by Mediakix on mobile games market size shows that there are 2.2 billion people playing mobile games worldwide. This amounts to almost 30% of the total world population.

Mobile game revenues are enjoying year-on-year growth of 26.7%, Mediakix says. China will be the largest mobile games market, followed by the US and Japan.


4. US mobile games revenue is expected to reach $10 billion by the end of 2019.

(Statista)

Both the general and mobile gaming markets are expected to keep growing in the upcoming years. Mobile gaming growth statistics show that the US, the second largest mobile games market, is keeping up with global trends, with expected mobile games revenue of $10 billion in 2019.


5. There are 203 million mobile gamers in North America.

(Mediakix)

The North American mobile games market is the second largest market in the world. Mobile gaming in America statistics  suggest that the number is expected to reach 213 billion in 2020.


6. In the US, each cell phone holds an average of eight games.

(App Annie)

App Annie’s mobile gaming industry report discloses interesting statistics on just how much we play mobile games.


7. By 2022 the global game market will reach $196 billion, while the mobile gaming market will rise to $95.4 billion.

(Newzoo)

The Newzoo global games market report forecasts a bright future for the global game market. According to the mobile gaming revenue statistics, the general game market is slated to reach $196 billion by 2022, while mobile gaming is expected to reach $95.4 billion.


8.  China has approximately 586 million mobile gamers.

(Niko Partners)

China is the biggest mobile games market – by far. There are approximately 586 million mobile gamers in China, a rise of 22 million compared to 2017. This number is likely to keep rising – the total number of Chinese mobile game players is expected to reach 728 million by 2023. This will further cement the importance of China in the mobile games industry.


9. In 2018, China’s mobile gaming market accounted for more than 25% of global revenue.

(Niko Partners)

As the largest mobile gaming market, China accounts for a huge portion of global mobile market revenue. According to statistics on Chinese mobile gaming for 2018, China’s domestic mobile game revenue was $15.63 billion. This is about 25% of global industry revenue.


10. On average, American adults spend three hours and 35 minutes per day on their mobile phones.

(eMarketer)

Statistics of mobile gaming in America provided by Emarketer indicate that in 2018, US adults spent 3 hours and 35 minutes per day using their mobile phones. That rivals the time spent watching TV. This is a sign of the transformation of media and technology landscapes in the last decade.


11. 10% of time spent using mobile apps is dedicated to games.

(App Annie)

While app usage has increased by 50% in the past two years, the percentage of the time that we spend on mobile games remained the same – 10%. Social and communication apps take up 50% of our app-using time, followed by video players and editors at 15%, with mobile games in third place. This may seem low, but mobile games compete with time-sink giants like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.


12.  Mobile phones are the most popular platform for gaming.

(Limelight)

Limelight’s “State of Online Gaming” report concludes that mobile phones have become the main platform for gaming. Global mobile phone gaming statistics show that on average, using a 0-4 scale, time spent playing games on mobile is at 1.89, while PC gaming is just behind at 1.82. Consoles got 1.38. Dethroning the PC as a dominant gaming platform was unimaginable a few years ago, but here we are.


13. In 2018, mobile games made up 33% of all worldwide mobile downloads.

(App Annie)

Another telling bit of data: In 2018, 33% of all mobile downloads were games. Based on this info, we can see that mobile games form an important part of mobile phone usage.


14. 90% of time spent on smartphones is spent with apps.

(eMarketer)

eMarketer’s 2018 mobile gaming statistics on global smartphone usage show that apps take up 90% of our time on smartphones and 70% on tablets. Almost half of this time is spent in an individual’s one top app, however, not in all apps equally.


15. Mobile games account for 74% of all consumer spending in app store.

(App Annie)

Not only do mobile games take up large parts of total mobile phone usage and downloads, but they’re also the main source of revenue in app stores. Mobile games account for 74% of app store consumer spending – 74 cents of every dollar spent in app stores goes toward mobile games.


16. 95% of app store revenue from gaming comes from in-app purchases.

(Techsport)

Mobile gaming statistics on revenue  show that only 5% of app store spending comes from purchasing the games themselves, while 95% of it comes from microtransactions: loot boxes, XP boosts, time-savers, and other stuff you purchase while playing the game. This monetization model is mostly reserved for freemium for free-to-play games, which cost nothing to download. Users find that progress is much slower or downright impaired unless they purchase add-ons during play.


17. On average, US consumers spent $77.60 on mobile games in 2016.

(Rakuten Intelligence)

Rakuten Intelligence conducted research on how much people in the US spend on mobile games. The company’s 2016 mobile gaming USA statistics report demonstrates that US mobile game buyers spent an average of $77.60 that year.

Statistics about mobile gaming demographics

18.  According to gamers age statistics, the two age groups best represented in mobile gaming are people aged 25-34 and 55+

(Mediakix)

We generally expect gamers to be young and male. That’s not true in the mobile world. Mobile gaming statistics tell us that older generations are well-represented in mobile gaming. People aged 55+ make up 23% of mobile gamers, followed by the 25-34 group (21%). People aged 34-44 are in third place (19%).


19. 63% of all mobile gamers are women.

(Mediakix)

This very surprising bit of  mobile gaming statistics on gender comes from the Mediakix demographics report. While most people imagine gaming as a completely male-dominated arena, the facts say otherwise. Almost two-thirds – 63% –  of all mobile gamers are women. Out of all female mobile gamers, 60% of them play daily, compared to 47% of males.


20. Men and women prefer different mobile game genres.

(Quantic Foundry)

Mobile gaming gender statistics gathered by Quantic Foundry highlight a gender gap in mobile game genres. Match-three and family/farm simulation games are preferred by women: 69% of people who play them are women. Sports and tactical shooter genres are preferred by men, with 98% and 96% of these genre player bases being male.


21. Vendors say female smartphone users are better customers.

(DeltaDNA)

Female smartphone users are prepared to spend more than men. As mobile gamer demographics research conducted in 2017 by DeltaDNA shows, female consumers tend to buy pricier phones than men: About 21% of women own an iPhone, compared to 15% of men. In the Android world, female players are more likely to have more expensive models ($300+) – 34% compared to 27%. Further, 36% of women who play a game are ready to spend money it, making female players 31% more valuable to game publishers.


22. The popularity of hyper-casual games jumped by 3.5 times in 2018 and is expected to keep growing.

(AppsFlyter)

Hyper-casual mobile games seem to be gaining traction. These are games that have simple mechanics and offer instant gameplay (tap-to-play). This is exactly the reason for their popularity: They don’t take much of your time and can be played while multitasking. AppsFlyer’s 2018 State of Gaming report on mobile gaming download statistics shows that the number of downloads for hyper-casual games increased 3.5 times during 2018. Even so, they amounted to only 5% of all downloads. But the category is almost sure to keep growing.


23. In-app ads are becoming the dominant monetization model for some genres.

(AppsFlyer)

In-app purchases were the name of the game for a while in the freemium mobile game market. However, that monetization model depends on a very large and dedicated player base, and more importantly – whales. A whale is a player who spends a lot on in-app purchases.

Game developers are switching to placing advertisements inside games instead. According to AppsFlyer’s mobile gaming and whales statistics, in-app ads are present in more than 50% of casual and hyper-casual games. However, in-app purchases are still dominant in midcore and strategy games, at 70%.

Mobile gaming general statistics

24.  The worldwide total number of smartphone users is 3.2 billion.

(Newzoo)

Newzoo’s Global Mobile Market report on mobile gaming statistics showcases the continued growth of both smartphone usage and the mobile gaming industry. According to Newzoo, the number of smartphone users hit 3.2 billion in 2019. This is sure to be accompanied by mobile gaming market growth.


25. Gaming is the most used app category, accounting for 25% of active iOS apps and 21% of Android apps.

(Go-Globe)

Not only are gaming apps among the most downloaded categories, they are also among the most used apps on both iPhones and Androids. Gaming mobile apps statistics provided by Go-Globe show that 25% of active iOS apps and 21% of Android apps are mobile games.


26. 62% of people install a game on their phone within a week of acquiring it.

(Go-Globe)

When people get a new phone, one of the main ways to test it out is through playing games. Go-Globe’s mobile gaming app industry statistics show that 62% of people install a game within a week of obtaining a new device.


27. 78% of mobile gamers are Android users.

(Go-Globe)

Go-Globe stats tell us that a huge majority of mobile gamers use Android phones – 78%. This in turn makes Android game players worth up to eight times more than those that use iOS.


28. Puzzle games are the most popular mobile game genre, with 57.9% market penetration.

(Go-Globe)

Puzzle and arcade games are currently the dominant mobile genres, at 57.9% and 55.60% market penetration. This statistic is not that surprising when we keep in mind that female gamers dominate mobile gaming and that puzzle games are one of their preferred genres.

Mobile Gaming App Statistics

29.  Pokémon Go is the top-grossing mobile gaming app on iPhone, with $1.6 million daily revenue in 2019.

(Statista)

The top-grossing mobile app spot was occupied by the immensely popular game Candy Crush in previous years. But Pokémon Go has recently taken its place as the highest grossing video game on mobile, with daily revenue of $1.6 million. Candy Crush Saga is now in second place with $1.59 million daily revenue.


30.  1 in 3 mobile game players played Candy Crush Saga in 2019.

(Newzoo)

While Candy Crush daily revenue lost the lead in the list of top revenue-generating apps, it’s still one of the most played games in the world. According to Newzoo’s data on the most popular mobile games, every third mobile gamer has played this five-year-old game. That’s almost double the popularity of Pokémon Go.


31. With 334 million downloads, Helix Jump was the most downloaded game of 2018.

(Apptopia)

Here is clear proof of the surging popularity of hyper-casual games. According to a study of the most played online games conducted by Apptopia, the most downloaded mobile game for 2018 was Helix Jump. This hyper-casual game had more downloads than Fortnite and PUBG Mobile combined. The developer of Helix Jump, Voodoo, was also the top publisher for 2018, with 1.2 billion downloads across all games.


32. 66% of mobile gamers influence the purchasing decisions of others.

(Newzoo)

Mobile gamers seem to influence the purchasing decisions of those around them more than non-gamers do. Newzoo mobile games industry analysis from its Betting on Billions report indicates that 66% of gamers influenced the purchasing decisions of family members, compared to 53% of non-gamers. Gamers are also more influential with friends (43% versus 35%) and colleagues (37% versus 29%).


33. Games and shopping apps are most commonly used between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m.

(Newzoo)

According mobile gaming revenue statistics from Newzoo, games and shopping apps are mostly used in the evening, after work hours. During the afternoon, people mostly use music apps, while people rely on news-related applications in the morning to catch up to new developments.

FAQ

  • How big is the mobile gaming industry?

The mobile gaming industry is currently worth about $68.5 billion. This accounts for 45% of the global gaming industry.

  • Are mobile games more profitable?

They seem to be at the moment, with the top grossing mobile game, Pokémon Go, generating $1.6 million per day. Mobile games are usually much cheaper to develop than PC and console games, so making mobile games certainly seems lucrative at the moment.

  • Is mobile gaming popular?

Yes, immensely so, especially when we look at how many people play mobile games. There are currently 2.2 billion mobile gamers in the world. That number is expected to rise to 2.4 billion by the end of the year.

  • What mobile game has made the most money?

At the moment, the mobile game that generates the most profit is Pokémon Go, which earns $1.6 million each day.

  • How big is the gaming industry 2019?

Mobile game stats tell us that the gaming industry is worth $152.1 billion.

  • How many people play mobile games daily?

There is no statistical data at the moment that tells us how many people play mobile games on a daily basis. However, Mediakix mobile gaming statistics tell us that 60% of female gamers (who form 63% of the total player base) play mobile games daily.

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