Mobile & Social Gaming

Mobile Gaming Statistics & trends during 2020

In 2019, global mobile game revenue grew to $68.5B. Newzoo estimates that by the end of 2020, that number will hit $76.7B — a 12% increase. With a near year right around the corner, here’s our analysis of what you can expect from the mobile game industry in 2020.

Mobile Gaming Statistics & trends during 2020

Mobile game industry statistics

  • According to Sensor Tower, in Q3 2019, out of the 792K publishers on both Apple’s App Store and Google Play, 108K of them are game publishers. That’s close to 15%
  • App Annie predicts that in 2020 consumers will collectively spend 674B hours on mobile devices, up from 558B in 2019
  • Today, mobile games account for 33% of all app downloads, 74% of consumer spend and 10% of all time spent in-app
  • By the end of 2019, almost ⅓ of the global population (2.4B) play mobile games
  • 50% of mobile app users play games, making this app category as popular as music apps like Spotify and Apple Music, and second only to social media and communications apps in terms of time spent

Mobile game industry market share breakdown

Usage in mobile game revenue will continue to outpace growth on PC in the coming year, which will ultimately result in a shrinking PC market share dipping below 20% in 2022.

Mobile will also outpace the console’s revenue growth. In 2020, Newzoo predicts that PC gaming will account for 23% of the market revenue, console gaming comes in at 31%, and mobile and tablet are at a combined 46%. By 2022, mobile and tablet gaming will account for close to 50% of the overall gaming market.

Ref: Newzoo

If we look at market share geographically, in 2019, Asia-Pacific accounted for 47% of the market, followed by North America at 26%, Europe, Middle East, and Africa at 23%, and finally, Latin America at 4%. In 2019, 48% of all consumer spending came from the US and China.

Mobile gaming industry trends you can expect in 2020

1. Cloud gaming will expand the range of possible gaming experiences.

In 2019, Google and Microsoft launched its ambitious cloud gaming solutions. Melissa Zeloof, VP Marketing at ironSource predicts it best:

“While it’s unlikely cloud gaming will replace consoles and PCs or convert a new audience of casual gamers to more traditionally AAA titles, every cloud has a silver lining. Like other new formats and vehicles for enjoying games have done in the past, we can expect cloud gaming to add another stratum to the market. By expanding the range of possible gaming experiences and creating more accessibility to traditional gaming titles, cloud solutions are likely to contribute significantly to the value of this rapidly growing market.”

2. Hardcore gamers will pay a monthly fee for subscription services, but more casual gamers won’t.

In March of 2019, both Apple and Google announced their respective subscription services. While Google’s Stadia also falls under the category of cloud gaming, both Apple and Google are offering game subscription services — rid of in-app purchases and ads — to consumers for a monthly fee. However, 2019 is coming to a close with many unknowns: neither Apple, Google, nor the developers working with either party have explained the business model of the services.

What we do know is that subscription services are being marketed towards different types of gamers — mid and hardcore gamers, rather than casual and hyper-casual players. While in 2020 it’s likely that more and more hardcore gamers may also begin paying a monthly fee for access to subscriptions, it seems very unlikely that those who engage in gameplay for short bouts of time — either on their commute to work or while waiting for a coffee — will ever consider paying a monthly fee for a subscription.

3. Hyper-casual will establish itself as its genre

2019 was a year of explosive growth for hyper-casual games — with IPM growing 70% YoY. However, the hyper-casual genre has just about peaked and in 2020 the genre will surely stabilize as users are no longer as susceptible to the aggressive ad campaigns as they were in the past. But, this doesn’t mean that hyper-casual will die. We predict that 2020 will be the year that hyper-casual establishes itself as its genre — and not just a subgenre of casual games.

4. Studios will see the benefits of aligning their monetization and marketing teams

Advertising is increasingly becoming a significant source of revenue for game developers today. App Annie predicts that in 2020 ad monetization revenue will finally overtake IAP revenue.

In 2019, several game studios — mostly in the hyper-casual and casual space — began merging their UA and monetization activities into one unified team. The goal of this alignment is to ensure that one person or group of people are working closely together to see the full picture of the game’s growth, leading to a deeper understanding of each user: the channel that brought them in and how they engaged with IAPs and ads within the game. With ad revenue about to overtake IAP revenue, we’re predicting that in 2020 studios from an array of genres will see the advantage and ultimately unify the two teams.

Wrapping Up

Traditional gaming is seeing wholesale changes this year, but with the increasing emphasis on mobile gaming, social media platforms are quickly joining the craze.

If you’re planning for game development, consider getting in touch with ScaleTech. Having many years of experience in game development, our portfolio includes mobile games, game slot engines, casino games and many more have made us an ideal development partner for startups and enterprises.

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