The report found that direct spending on mobile games in 2017 was more than double the 2015 figure and, perhaps even more significantly, exceeded the combined spending for PC and console games.
To be specific, mobile game sales in 2017 were 2.3 times greater than PC games sales and 3.6 times greater than console game sales. Equally remarkably, games accounted for 80% of worldwide consumer spending on iOS and Google Play.
It would appear, then, that games played on home platforms are struggling to keep up with the accessibility and portability of mobile games.
“With billions of mobile devices in the world, apps are the mass market gaming platform for casual and serious gamers,” App Annie’s Danielle Levitas explained, “enabling them to play whenever and wherever they want to.”
The rise of online co-op and competitive mobile gaming was also identified as a factor underlying the expansion of mobile gaming. Games like Arena of Valor, Lineage 2 Revolution and Fantasy Westward Journey placed high in the 2017 charts and, while only 34% of smartphone gamers admitted playing online games (compared to 44% of PC/console gamers), that represents a significant increase on the previous year’s figures.
Growth is particularly notable in the Asia Pacific markets. Separate research from the Gaming Spotlight 2017 Review suggested that 60 per cent of worldwide mobile game took place in the Asia-Pacific region in 2017. The expanding, increasingly tech savvy Chinese economy was responsible for much of this, along with traditional gaming powerhouse Japan and South Korea.
Going forward it seems likely that the mobile gaming market will continue to prove lucrative. Those with investments in the console and PC gaming markets will hope that the rush towards mobile gaming doesn’t detract value from more traditional gaming markets.