Menu PocketGamer.biz
Search
Home   >   Data

Mobile game downloads fell for the first time ever in 2023 to 88 billion

The Indian market downloaded over double the mobile games of any other region, but didn’t make the top 20 for spending
Mobile game downloads fell for the first time ever in 2023 to 88 billion
Date Type Companies Involved Key Datapoint
Feb 20, 2024 report data.ai 88 billion downloads
  • data.ai’s latest State of Mobile Gaming report reveals that the industry’s revenue fell to $107.3 billion in 2023
  • Downloads fell for the first time ever to 88 billion

data.ai’s latest State of Mobile Gaming report reveals that the industry’s revenue fell for the second year in a row, down to $107.3 billion in 2023. Downloads fell too - for the first time ever - to only 88 billion.

Even so, data.ai’s insights and forecasts around the mobile games industry’s performance suggest "signs of a turnaround" are ahead.

While consumer spending has fallen again, the report does bring attention to a slowed rate of decline - falling by 5% in 2022 and only 2% in 2023. Furthermore, half of the 10 biggest markets actually saw a bump in revenue with positive year-on-year growth, suggesting "mobile game makers can find growth opportunities if they target the right markets".

The market in South Korea grew by an impressive 21%, in fact, while the UK saw substantial growth of 9%.
And though global revenue and download numbers did fall, each only fell by 2% from 2022 and still resulted in a mighty weekly average: $1.5 billion in spending and 1.1 billion downloads per week. January and July proved the strongest months for game downloads in 2023 with over 1.22 billion every week, just below January 2022’s peak of 1.25 billion.

The big players

India proved the biggest market for mobile downloads by far last year, accounting for 9.4 billion downloads from Google Play. This was more than double the second-biggest market, Brazil, with 4.3 billion downloads via Google Play. Indonesia rounded out the top three with 3.3 billion.

The Apple App Store market was much smaller, with the US and China being the only regions to break a billion; the US came out on top at only 2.1 billion downloads while China followed at 1.2 billion, while Japan came third with only 355 million installs.

These iOS numbers are even down compared to 10 years ago, when 2.5 billion US downloads, 1.6 billion Chinese downloads, and 507 million Japanese downloads took place in 2013. But revenue has increased significantly since, up from $2.9 billion in the US in 2013 to $14.9 billion in 2023.

And the US proves the biggest spender on the Play Store too, having spent $9.2 billion in 2023. South Korea and Japan took second and third with $5 billion and $4.4 billion respectively, and importantly, despite India’s gigantic download numbers, the market doesn’t place in the top 20 for spending.

In global spending, 924 games surpassed $10 million last year and 150 surpassed $100 million. Seven titles - Gardenscapes, Monopoly Go! and Honkai: Star Rail included - reached the ever-impressive $1 billion milestone.

All in all, 2023 proved to be an impressive year even if it couldn’t return to the pandemic peaks, when potential players were stuck indoors accruing their disposable income. With miHoYo and Scopely’s latest heavy hitters joining the market, China’s international success and plenty of countries already bouncing back, data.ai’s full report has a broadly optimistic tone.

"An increasing number of Chinese game publishers are achieving success both domestically and internationally, with Japan emerging as a particularly lucrative market," the report reads. "Chinese publishers have managed to secure nearly a quarter of the market share in Japan, highlighting their significant impact and success in global expansion."

In fact, China and the US accounted for over half of all consumer spending on mobile games in 2023.