Milo W. January 21, 2020
Mobile games’ share of the overall video game market has steadily grown over time, and that trend didn’t change in 2019
Sensor Tower Store Intelligence estimates that $61.7 billion was generated by mobile games through the Google Play and Apple Store last year. Mobile games consisted of around 74% of the total $83.5 billion spent on mobile digital storefronts. This was a 17% increase from the $71.3 billion generated in 2018.
2019 was also a record-breaking year for first-time app downloads, with over 114.9 billion installs across both the Google Play store and the Apple Store. The Google Play store led 2019 with overall downloads, but Apple’s App Store led in revenue generated.
Mobile games have grown at an exceptional rate over the past decade. They made up 45% of the global gaming market revenue as of 2019, according to a report by Newzoo.
Many game developers are capitalizing on the popularity and accessibility of this market by creating mobile versions of their most popular titles. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and Fortnite both launched on mobile devices in 2018, and Activation followed suit with Call of Duty: Mobile on October 1, 2019. There are also plenty of dedicated mobile titles that have become popular esports titles in their own right, such as Clash Royale and Vainglory.
Despite mobile games comprising a substantial portion of the overall market, there remains a stigma against them among the gaming community. Members of the community dismiss mobile gaming due to the low quality of the majority of mobile releases and the prevalence of pay-to-win titles. The gaming community also fears that the success of the mobile gaming formula may encourage console developers to pivot away from PC and console gaming, and further implement the microtransactions that drive mobile gaming’s business model.
That said, don’t expect mobile gaming to become less popular with time.