Gamers are spending big bucks on mobile apps — but not in India

Mobile gaming accounted for 75% of the consumer spend on iOS and Google Store this quarter. Indians were the largest market for mobile games but didn't make it into the top three when it comes to expenditure.Business Insider India

  • Gaming accounted for $16.95 billion — 75% of the overall consumer spend — on mobile games this quarter.
  • India was the largest market for mobile games on Google Store but when it came to consumer spend, US, Japan and South Korea were the top three spenders.
  • Overall 30.3 billion apps were downloaded in Q2 2019, the most in any quarter ever.
Gaming has always been considered ‘niche’ category but this quarter, games accounted for 75% of the consumer spend on iOS and Google Play.

Of the $22.6 billion spent on mobile apps in Q2 2019, $16.95 billion was spent on mobile games, according to App Annie.

The category’s explosion can be attributed to the growth of hyper casual gaming options as well as smartphones making hardcore gaming more accessible.

Mobile apps, over all, set a new record by recording the highest ever downloads in a quarter at 30.3 billion app downloads over the last three months. Games only accounted for 35% of the downloads but, on iOS, games was the largest contributor to overall yearly download growth.

India downloads but doesn’t want to spend

Users downloaded 11.2 billion games this quarter and India was the largest market market for mobile games on the Google Store.

But when it came to consumer spend, India didn’t even make it to the top three. Instead, US, Japan and South Korea were the top three spenders on Google.

On iOS, China, US and Japan dominated, both, in gaming downloads and consumer spend.

Growth of gaming

Games represent 10% of the overall time spent on a smartphone and, at the same time, mobile game engagement is growing at roughly 10% per year. While the time spent on gaming apps relative to other apps is holding steady, the actual hours spent gaming are increasing 10% every year.

Globally, a person plays an average of two to five games in a month. These individuals are primarily over the age of 25. They may or may not identify themselves as ‘gamers’ but they have the income to spend on in-app purchases in mobile gaming apps.

What kind of game are you playing?

In 2018, racing games were the biggest subcategory in games with consumer spending growing at 7.9 times the overall growth rate of the market.

This quarter, the leading subcategories on the Google Play Store were Arcade, Action and Casual games while Arcade, Action and Puzzle games dominated on iOS.

The mass appeal of hyper casual gaming brought games like Stack Ball, Run Race 3D, Tiles Hope:EDM Rush and Crowd city to the forefront of mobile downloads.

When it comes to spending on games, Fate, Honour of Kings, and Candy Crush Saga lead the race. Users also spent on Clash of Clans and PUBG Mobile as they made their way back onto the top 10. PUBG Mobile also leads when it comes to monthly active users (MAUs).

The Tencent battle royale game is a unique case on its own because a lot of games that lead in MAUs have usually been around for a couple of years and PUBG Mobile was only launched a little over a year ago.

Pokemon GO is another new game that’s on the consumer spend and MAU top 10. The game’s publisher, Niantic, launched Harry Potter: Wizards Unit on June 20. It is yet to be seen whether it will be able to break into the top 10 yet again with an augmented reality (AR) mobile game.

See also:
Here’s what it’s like to be a gamer in India

Qualcomm and MediaTek's mobile gaming focus won't be enough to reverse the trend toward mid-tier phones
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