The global mobile gaming market has been growing at a frenetic rate. Over the past few years, the mobile gaming sector has grown to become the largest global gaming revenue contributor—representing over 50% of the gaming revenue generated worldwide.
With the speedy growth in smartphone penetration and mobile hardware innovations, an increasing number of game developers are taking this opportunity to reach out to gamers on their smartphones.
Moreover, the advent of advanced mobile gaming technologies, such as AR/VR applications and the rise of the 5G network to support mobile gaming has further led to the growth of the mobile gaming market. Currently, the global mobile gaming market is a $ 68.5 billion business.
Industry experts predict the global mobile gaming market will reach $100 billion by 2021. In terms of regional markets, Asia currently owns the largest global market share, although other markets like the US are slowly catching up. Here are the largest mobile gaming markets in the world, according to Statista.
In 2016, the Chinese gaming market overtook the US market to become the world’s largest gaming market in terms of mobile gaming.
According to Statista reports, the Chinese revenue from mobile games in 2018 amounted to $21.7 billion—representing a growth of 1.6 billion from 2017. The highest-grossing genres were MMORPGs, quest games and racing simulators. All the top 10 games were released by Chinese developers.
Statista data shows the total number of mobile gamers in China was about 563 million people in 2019. The most popular mobile operating system in China is Android, with a whopping 72.07% of the market share, followed by iOS at 26.96%.
As the second-largest mobile gaming nation in the world, the US gaming market (including consoles and computer games) is valued at $18.4 billion.
The most recent figures show the US mobile gaming segment is worth $9 billion. In 2017, the American video games market grew by 11.4% compared to 2016 figures. This growth is expected to continue through 2022, but at a decreasing rate of 2.7% to reach $10.6 billion.
As far as the market share is concerned, Statista reports that the number of mobile gamers in the US was 210 million by the end of 2019. Unlike China where Android dominates the market, iOS is the leading mobile platform in the US, accounting for 53.89% of the market share against Android at 45.23%.
In 2017, the total volume of the Japanese video games market was valued at around $10.6 billion. The mobile gaming segment accounts for 58% of all the revenue.
The Japanese mobile gaming market is not just the world’s oldest and most mature, it has been growing steadily over the past 10+ years. Japan’s Mobile Content Forum reports that the country’s revenue generated from mobile gaming reached $13.3 billion in 2018.
However, it’s growth rate is declining. Analysts predict that by the end of 2020, the growth rate will decline by 0.2%. This is because the market has shifted from the growth stage to maturity stage. And it makes sense because there are about 70 million mobile gamers in Japan, meaning more than half of Japan’s population plays mobile games.
4. South Korea
In 2017, the total size of the South Korean video games market was $2.17 billion, according to data from Statista. As of 2019, the revenue from mobile gaming rose to $2.222 billion.
The mobile gaming segment accounted for 69% of the total gaming revenue, making it one of the largest mobile shares in Asia. Industry experts predict the market to reach saturation in 2022 after which it will shrink.
The high revenue from mobile gaming (69%) is partly due to the high level of smartphone penetration in Korea. Note that two of the world’s largest smartphone manufacturers (Samsung & LG) are based in S. Korea.
Currently, the S. Korean market has 20.6 million mobile gamers. StatCounter reports that Google’s operating system is dominant in S. Korea, with 79.2% of the market on Android and a mere 20% on IOS. As of 2018, the most popular mobile game on Android in S. Korea was Lineage Mobile, and the most popular game on IOS was Black Desert (mobile version).
India has experienced rapid growth in the number of mobile game users, making it one of the fastest-growing gaming countries in the world.
According to data from Statista, India had about 201 million mobile gamers in 2016. Currently, the country has 326 million mobile gamers, demonstrating a 62% growth from 2016, and the number is projected to reach 370 million users by 2022.
In 2016, revenue from mobile gaming totaled $466.3 million. This number is projected to reach $1.1 billion by the end of 2020. Android is the leading mobile operating system in India, with a 76.7% market share followed by iOS with a mere 23%.
Data from App Annie and Think Gaming shows that Indians enjoy playing card games and games of chance. And this explains why the Indian casino market has been growing at a rate of 40% each year. Casino players love classics like baccarat, blackjack, and friendly mobile slots. You can play any of these games online in any reputable casino in India, such as Casumo.
6. United Kingdom
The UK boasts of a highly developed gaming market. It’s ranked second in the world by the popularity of console games.
Mobile gaming in the UK is also a force to be reckoned with. According to research by ARM and TIGA, around 70% of UK game developers work on projects for mobile platforms.
The UK mobile games market has been growing at a neckbreak speed. IAB UK reports that in the first half of 2016, the market grew at a staggering rate of 56.1%. Likewise, revenue from mobile gaming grew from $891 million in 2015 to $1.4 billion in 2019.
Industry analysts project the UK mobile gaming revenue to grow at an annual growth rate of 1.5%, resulting in a market volume of $1.513 billion by 2024. Currently, there are 19.3 million mobile gamers in the UK.
The Russian gaming market is huge, consisting of 71.3 million gamers. Of these, 30.9 million prefer to play mobile games.
The number of mobile gamers has been growing steadily and is expected to reach 51.8 million by 2022. For the past few years, mobile gaming revenue has grown exponentially to reach $741 million in 2019 from $588 million in 2016, demonstrating a 20.6% growth in 3 years.
On the Russian market, 52% of the gamers are men and 48% are women. The segment that pays the most consists of the gamers aged 25 – 30 years old. Most Russians prefer Android for gaming, which accounts for 65.46% of the market share against iOS at 32.03%.
What Does the Future Hold for Mobile Gaming?
In the last two decades, mobile gaming has transcended from the age of the ‘Snake’ to an age where virtual and augmented realities define our gaming environments. And given the staggering pace at which technology is advancing, it’s hard to envision what the future holds.
But one thing is certain; smartphones are the future of gaming.
When you take into account major trends such as the rollout of 5G, wearable gaming, amazing graphics, and AI, you can be sure that the future is all about providing personalized experiences that will bring mobile games into every moment of our lives.