The global gaming market is projected to grow to more than US$200 billion by 2023, already larger than the film and music industries combined. Around half of this market is represented by mobile games, and it is also the fastest growing segment. That’s why, yesterday, Sensor Tower released ‘The State of Mobile Gaming 2021’ document, which reveals that U.S. consumer spending accounted for 28% of the global market in 2020.
The U.S. market has been increasing since 2017 and outpaced Japan in 2019 as the world’s leading region in terms of spending on mobile gaming. Japan made up 22% of market spending and China contributed 18% of the global markets revenue for the last year. As for downloads, India led the global market with 9.7 billion, or 12% of all apps installed for the year. The marketing firm shared that India is the only country to gain more than 10% of game installs since 2017. The next two largest regions for downloads, the U.S. and Brazil, accounted for 7% and 6% of market downloads for the year 2020, respectively.
Besides, Sensor Tower noted that just five markets (the U.S., Japan, China, South Korea and Taiwan) made up 77% of mobile games revenues for the year, but just 32% of downloads. That discrepancy was clear evidence that acquiring new users is easier than converting them to paying players in most markets. Subscriptions have been a key driver of revenue in non-gaming apps, and the business model is increasingly finding its way into games. In 2020, 29% of the top mobile titles by U.S. App Store revenue utilized a subscription, up from just 9% in 2017. Games adopting this monetization option include the likes of Roblox from Roblox Corporation, Clash of Clans from Supercell, and PUBG Mobile from Tencent.
In relation to Q1 2021 data, Sensor Tower explained the U.S has surpassed US$6 billion in revenue for mobile gaming, reaching 34% y-o-y growth in that quarter. Consumer spending in mobile games in the U.S. has increased by more than US$1.5 billion y-o-y in Q1 2021. Regarding downloads, those made in Q1 2021 were still slightly higher than the ones of pre-pandemic quarters. When talking about titles, Roblox, Candy Crush Saga, Coin Master, Pokémon GO and Gardenscapes have been the top grossing mobile games in the U.S. in 2020.
Looking at the future, the report forecasts that global player spending will reach US$117 billion across the App Store and Google Play by 2023. In addition, it predicted that the Southeast Asian market will be the fastest rising region, with a projected growth of 88% between 2020 and 2023. Europe, meanwhile, is projected to see player spending rise by 76% over the same period.