This article is part of an ongoing series of data-driven articles from PocketGamer.biz and data.ai (formerly App Annie) highlighting trends in the global mobile games sector using data.ai’s Game IQ analytics.
In its latest report, The State of Anime Gaming 2022, data.ai has stated that anime mobile games generated $17 billion in worldwide consumer spending in 2021, a rise of six per cent year-over-year, revealling that anime games effectively accounted for $1 in every $5 spent on app stores on mobile games last year.
data.ai’s classification of an anime mobile game is dependent on the art style of the game, being that it shares a likeness to Japanese TV and film animation.
However, despite high consumer spending, global usage penetration for the most used anime mobile game was less than three per cent, which indicates that although the audience may not be as large as other genres, such as battle royale, players show higher engagement and are also higher spenders overall.
In awe of anime
Japan remained the largest market for anime mobile games in 2021 and represented 55 per cent of global consumer spending, however, its market share has fallen nine percentage points since 2018 as popularity increases in other countries.
Last year, global downloads grew 15 per cent year-over-year, up 50 per cent from 2018. The countries that experienced the most significant growth were the UK, the US, and South Korea.
In comparison with 2018, anime mobile game downloads surged 170 per cent in South Korea in 2021, compared with 40 per cent in the US and 30 per cent in the UK. Consumer spending also rose significantly during this period and increased 85 per cent in South Korea, 75 per cent in the UK and 70 per cent in the US.
These figures indicate that as well as a global growing audience, anime mobile games also attract a more engaged audience that is willing to pay long term.
The crossover between anime and mobile games is not a new occurrence, but as the popularity of the medium increases worldwide more companies are getting involved through partnerships and publishing. Earlier this month, Japanese manga publisher Shueisha announced the launch of its games division to focus on launching anime games on all platforms, including mobile.
You can find the full State of Anime Gaming Report 2022 on the data.ai website.
You can also go deep with the mobile world's key influencers and find out more about the trends and topics in mobile gaming with data.ai's Game Changers podcast.