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Gaming Reaches New Heights Thanks to Mobile

It should come as no surprise that the popularity of mobile gaming is at an all-time high. A recent report from App Annie that was put together in conjunction with the IDC has revealed that the mobile gaming industry is pushing the global gaming market to new heights. Consumer spending for the entire gaming industry is set to pass the $204 billion mark in 2021, but what is fascinating to see is that more than 50% of that comes from mobile. According to the study, mobile is set to contribute $120 billion, PC and Mac gaming will contribute $41 billion, home consoles will generate $39 billion and finally handheld consoles will be responsible for just $4 billion. The home console niche includes the likes of Xbox Live, PlayStation Plus and Nintendo Switch Online.

Another staggering fact is that mobile gaming has grown from around $30 billion in consumer spending back in 2014 to an expected $120 billion in 2021, while the PC and Mac platforms category has only grown from around $29 billion in 2014 to the expected $41 billion. To put those numbers in perspective, the size of the global gambling industry, which includes the very successful top casino sites in the UK, is currently worth an estimated $227 billion. The rise in mobile spending can be somewhat attributed to two of the top grossing game titles during the first quarter of 2021. Roblox and Genshin Impact, from US Roblox Corporation and Chinese miHoYo respectively, were the leaders in Google Play and the App Store. In third position was Coin Master, the Israeli created casual game from Moon Active, followed by the Pokémon Go in fourth position. Surprisingly, Candy Crash Saga was the only game in the top ten that does not have real time features.

The study also revealed that users from around the world have downloaded 30% more mobile games during the first quarter of 2021, compared to the last quarter of 2019. That is a mind blowing 1 billion downloads per week. On the other hand, consumer spending on in-app purchases increased by 40% to a colossal $1.7 billion per week. The two regions to contribute the most in consumer spending were North America and Western Europe.

The report also points out that mobile gaming will continue to stretch its lead over the home console market, even though the latter is seeing some strong numbers courtesy of the new generation of console games. Having said that, PlayStation 5 and Xbox X/S are both seeing stock shortages that has a negative effect to the overall market. There are two factors that are making mobile gaming so attractive to consumers. First, they offer cross platform features and secondly, they benefit from console like experience.

Finally, the report mentions that in terms of PC gaming, Valve’s Steam saw a 46% increase in in-game users and that Nintendo Switch Lite continues to lead the consumer spending in the handheld game console market by a wide margin.