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
The 2022 Gaming Spotlight from data.ai and IDC, reveals the incredible impact of mobile games on every region and demographic around the world.
The rise and rise of mobile games, from the early days of the 21st century, through to becoming the dominant platform for games, is reflected in multiple statistics, with the very notion of what constitutes a ‘gamer’ changing radically.
The report attributes the reach, penetration and ubiquity of mobile phones, along with the ease of accessing the app stores and the variety of experiences available to every user as the key factors in the phenomenal growth of the sector.
In 2014, the mobile games market was worth a little under $30 billion dollars annually, which placed it on a par with console and slightly ahead of the PC and Mac markets.
In 2022, the mobile side of games has grown 4.5 times to reach $136 billion on the same annual basis. For comparison the console and PC/Mac markets have grown by around 0.25 times their 2014 value, giving them a value of $42 billion (console and $40 billion (PC/Mac).
Something for everyone
The report also highlights the enormous changes in the types of games which make up the market in 2022. Whereas the early days of mobile games focused upon simple ‘bite size’ games, which were suitable for brief grazing or snacking sessions, in 2022 those limitations are long-gone.
Games of every type and genre are now found across the mobile sector – even ‘core’ games, once confined to the console and PC/Mac, can now be played and enjoyed on mobile, or even across multiple platforms.
“Mobile is democratising the space and is now the primary driver of growth for digital games consumption. We are seeing greater diversity across gaming genres allowing publishers to serve new gamers across generations and genders,” said Lexi Sydow, Head of Market Insights, data.ai
Everyone is a gamer
The impact of this ubiquity and increasingly diverse range of experiences is pulling in an ever more diverse range of players, according to the report.
Casual titles like Candy Crush and Toon Blast are attributed with pulling in growing numbers of players aged 45 and over (identified as Gen X and Baby Boomers), while games such as Roblox, Coin Master, and Cookie Run: Kingdom are increasingly popular with female players (though the market still skews slightly male).
The US market has the highest female representation among top grossing games. Of the top 1,000 games by consumer spend in 2021, 47 per cent skew towards female audiences (so female players are more likely to play them). Roblox, for example, skews 30 per cent female in the US. This number was an increase from 37 per cent in 2019.
There is a degree of regional variation in the number of female players. However across the board, the number of female players continues to grow.
Among the top 1,000 games by consumer spend in 2021, 44 per cent of games in the UK skew female (growing from 27 per cent in 2019), while in France the percentage has increased from 21 per cent to 38 per cent between 2019 and 2021.
The data.ai Mobile Spotlight 2022 report offers incredible insight into the ongoing evolution of the global mobile games market. The report is available free and can be downloaded here.