Mobile games revenue hit nearly $58.7 billion in the first nine months of 2020, according to Sensor Tower.
The impressive number represents a growth of 26 per cent year-on-year. However, the increase in player spending can be attributed to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Due to lockdowns worldwide, many turned to mobile games as a form of entertainment.
At an increase of 25.3 per cent year-on-year, the App Store generated $35.2 billion between January and September. Meanwhile, Google Play was just ahead in terms of growth as it earned $23.5 billion, a rise of 26.3 per cent year-on-year.
Throughout the quarters, player spending has seen steady growth. In Q1, mobile games revenue hit $17.7 billion, which grew 13.6 per cent quarter-over-quarter in Q2 to over $20 billion. Furthermore, earnings reached $21 billion in Q3, an increase of 4.1 per cent quarter-over-quarter.
During H1, May proved to be the most lucrative month with $7 billion. However, for the nine months, August reigned supreme with $7.1 billion.
Party in the US
Having generated $16.5 billion in revenue, the US has proven to be the top-spending country in the world. Meanwhile, Japan and China came in at No.2 and No.3 with $13 billion and $10.6 billion, respectively.
Taking a quarter-by-quarter look, the US generated $4.5 billion in Q1, which grew 33.3 per cent to $6 billion in Q2. However, there was a decrease of 3.3 per cent in Q3, though the country still saw $5.8 billion in player spending.
Meanwhile, China earned $3.6 billion, $3.4 billion and $3.6 billion across Q1, Q2 and Q3, respectively. Japan, however, generated $3.8 billion in Q1, $4.3 billion in the next quarter and $5 billion in Q3.
On the games front, Tencent's PUBG Mobile proved to be the most lucrative title worldwide for the first nine months of 2020. The popular battle royale title generated $2 billion. As of September, PUBG Mobile has generated $3.5 billion in lifetime revenue.
Furthermore, a second Tencent title claimed the No.2 spot, Honor of Kings. Meanwhile, the top five was rounded off with Niantic's Pokemon Go, Moon Active's Coin Master and Monster Strike by Mixi.
Picking up downloads
On the downloads front, mobile games picked up 42.7 billion between Q1 and Q3, a rise of 36.9 per cent year-on-year. Installs through Google Play grew 42.8 per cent to 34.7 billion. Meanwhile, the App Store saw an increase of 15.9 per cent as it generated eight billion downloads.
Taking a quarterly view installs hit 13.4 billion in Q1, though this grew to 15 billion in Q2, an increase of 11.9 per cent quarter-on-quarter. Finally, in Q3, there was a drop of 5.3 per cent as downloads reached 14.2 billion.
India proved to be the top country in terms of installs, with 7.3 billion across the three quarters. Meanwhile, with 4.2 billion and 3.5 billion downloads, the US and Brazil at No.2 and No.3, respectively.
Looking at individual games, Garena Games' Garena Free Fire was the most downloaded game between January and September. Overalls, the mobile title picked up 220 million installs. Meanwhile, PUBG Mobile, which hit 600 million downloads in March, took second place.
The top five games were concluded with Subway Surfers by Sybo Games, Hunter Assassin by Ruby Game Studio and Playrix's Gardenscapes. The latter of which recently faced scrutiny for "misleading" Facebook ads.