Mobile Gaming On Track to Surpass $120B Spend in 2021

App Annie released its 2021 Mobile Gaming Tear Down: Key Trends on Subgenres, Monetization & User Acquisition report.

This report is powered by App Annie Game IQ, a mobile gaming intelligence tool offering a granular level of game classification. “Mobile gaming has seen huge growth over the past year, creating massive opportunities in the space,” said Sam Yang, SVP Global Field Operations, App Annie. “As consumer preferences in subgenres continue to evolve rapidly, it’s more crucial than ever to have a finger on the pulse of what’s trending.” The latest edition of Game IQ features an updated taxonomy to align with evolving game design trends, so that publishers can be informed and respond swiftly. For example, as more social games (like Among Us) emerged during the pandemic, App Annie updated its taxonomy to reflect the current market by adding “Party” as a new genre.

Key genre-specific insights from App Annie Game IQ include:

  • Hypercasual subgenres lead downloads: 4 of the top 10 most downloaded subgenres (across all games) belong to hypercasual. The Puzzle and Action subgenres grew 16% and 37% YoY respectively in demand.
  • Competition intensifies: Hypercasual genre standout Happy Glass’ record speed of reaching 100 million downloads in 62 days remains unbeaten, indicating it is increasingly difficult for new games to scale at speed.

Key overall report insights include:

  • Demand Keeps Climbing: The spike in demand for mobile games at the beginning of the pandemic is showing no signs of slowing down. Weekly game downloads first surpassed 1 billion in March 2020 and have remained at that level since.
  • No Slow in Spending: Consumers are also spending more money than ever in mobile games – in the first half of 2021, consumers spent $1.7 billion per week in mobile games, a 40% increase versus pre-pandemic levels.
  • More Mobile Games Generate Millions: Consumers are moving their gaming, and spending, onto mobile. In H1 2021 there are over 810 games surpassing $1M in consumer spend each month, a 25% increase versus 2019.
  • Gender Gaps: Mobile game usage in the United States leans most heavily toward female users (64% of users are female); the only regions where there are more male than female gamers on mobile are Japan (56% male) and South Korea (53% male)
  • China’s gaming footprint continues to expand: China is steadily growing its share of the global gaming market, surpassing the United States in size of consumer spend in some AMER and EMEA markets for the first time.

The 2021 Mobile Gaming Tear Down report provides deep insight into the macro and demographic trends that are shaping the gaming industry. The analysis and estimates in this report are based on App Annie Intelligence. Read the full report here.

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