55 Mobile Gaming Demographics Statistics: 2022 Data on Market Share & Spending - Financesonline.com (2023)

Mobile gaming has come a long way from its earliest known version in 1994. That year, Hagenuk MT-2000 was launched and became the first mobile phone with a pre-installed game—Tetris. Playing on a bulky mobile device with a small, backlit screen and physical buttons might seem more cumbersome than enjoyable by today’s standards. It was, however, how mobile gaming used to work before touchscreen smartphones entered the picture with apps and games built using advanced application development software solutions.

As mobile phones evolved over the years, so did the games that were being developed specifically for these devices. And as the number of mobile games grows, so do its market and audience. In this article, we will share with you the relevant mobile gaming demographics.

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Mobile Gaming Demographics Table of Contents

  1. Mobile Gaming General Statistics
  2. Mobile Game Players’ General Demographics
  3. Mobile Game Statistics That Break the Gender Norms
  4. Mobile Gaming Spending Statistics
  5. Impact of COVID-19 on Mobile Gamers

Mobile Gaming General Statistics

Before we delve deeper into mobile gaming industry demographics, let us first take a look at the state of the mobile gaming industry as reflected in the following figures.

  • In 2020, mobile gaming generated the highest revenue in the global gaming market, which amounted to $77.2 billion. (Wijman, 2020)
  • Mobile gaming is predicted to account for 59% of global gaming revenue in 2021. (Clement, 2021; Wijman)
  • 22.8% of mobile gaming revenue in the United States during the first quarter of 2021 came from puzzle games. (GameRefinery, 2021; Clement, 2021)
  • With more than 2.3 million downloads as of January 2021, Among Us has become the leading gaming app in the US for Android devices. (Clement, 2021; Airnow PLC, 2021)
  • In terms of revenue, Coin Master tops the list of gaming apps in the US Google Play Store with $45.57 million as of January 2021. (Clement, 2021; Airnow PLC)
  • For iPhones, Roblox was cited as the most popular gaming app based on its daily active users (DAU), which reached 5.75 million as of April 2021. (Clement, 2021; Airnow PLC, 2021)
  • Mobile games have generated the highest revenue of $13.2 billion in the US free-to-play games category. (Clement, 2021; SuperData Research, 2019)
  • The mobile gamer population grew to 2.6 billion in 2020. (Wijman, 2020)
  • The global games market is forecast to surpass the $200 billion mark in value by 2023. (Wijman, 2020)
  • By 2023, mobile gaming will remain the fastest-growing segment in the gaming market. (Wijman, 2020)

Source: GameRefinery, 2021; Statisa, 2021

Mobile Game Players’ General Demographics

Mobile gamers are a diverse group of individuals from different parts of the globe and different walks of life. In this section, we share with you some of the general characteristics of the mobile gaming population in the US and across the globe.

  • 57.7% of mobile game players in the US are men and 42.3% are women. (Statista, 2021)
  • 32.7% of US-based mobile gamers are 25 to 34 years old, which is also the largest age group. (Statista, 2021)
  • As of 2021, 34.1% of individuals in the US who play mobile games belong to the high-income group. (Statista, 2021)
  • In 2021, the US has the highest penetration rate (46.8%), followed by South Korea (44.9%), and China (38.8%). (Statista, 2021)
  • However, China still has the largest population of mobile gamers, which is estimated to be 563.7 million in 2021. (Statista, 2021)

55 Mobile Gaming Demographics Statistics: 2022 Data on Market Share & Spending - Financesonline.com (2)

Mobile Game Statistics That Break the Gender Norms

Gaming, in general, is an activity often associated with men. And for a long time, the gaming market has been largely targeted toward the male audience.

  • 44% of the top-grossing games on Google Play Store feature male characters as their app icons. (Google Play, 2019)
  • 60% of men stated that they play mobile games because it makes them feel good. (Google Play, 2019)
  • 40% of men feel that men and women are treated equally in the gaming industry. (Google Play, 2019)
  • 24% of mobile gamers in the US are “thrill-seekers.” (GameRefinery, 2021)

Mobile gaming demographics, however, have become much more diverse. According to a study conducted by Newzoo and Google Play, it appears that the presence and participation of female gamers and gender minorities are far more significant than what a lot of game developers think as reflected in mobile gaming demographics 2020 data.

  • Less than 28% of the gaming industry are women, transgender, or other gender minorities. (Google Play, 2020)
  • 49% of gamers in the US are women. (Google Play, 2020)
  • Still in the US, 65% of women between the ages of 10 and 65 play mobile games. (Google Play, 2020)
  • 64% of the gamers in the US who prefer playing on mobile are women and 38% are men. (Google Play, 2020)
  • Women play mobile games 25% longer than men. (McConnell, 2020)
  • 76% of mobile gamers who play puzzle games are women. (Google Play, 2020)
  • 43% of women play mobile games at least five times a week and 38% of men play as often. (Google Play, 2020)
  • 36% of female gamers only play mobile games during their free time or at social events. (Google Play, 2020)
  • Meanwhile, 48% of women admitted that puzzles are their favorite mobile games. (Google Play, 2020)
  • 60% of women who play mobile games believe that 30% of mobile games are created for the female audience. (McConnell, 2020)

Men and women also have different responses to their participating in the mobile gaming segment:

  • 57% of men identify as gamers compared to only 29% of women. (Google Play, 2020)
  • 60% of men stated that they play mobile games because it makes them feel good. (Google Play, 2020)
  • 70% of men feel good, excited, or satisfied when they pay for a new game; meanwhile, only 58% of women feel the same way. (Google Play, 2020)
  • 23% of women regret spending money on a game compared to only 16% of men. (Google Play, 2020)

Mobile Gaming Spending Statistics

Mobile gamers spend money by either buying paid games or by making in-app purchases in free-to-play gaming apps or both. In 2020 and 2021, the mobile gaming segment has experienced a significant growth in consumer spending, which can be attributed to the prolonged stay-at-home orders due to the pandemic. In the first quarter of 2021 alone, consumers already spent a total of $22.2 billion on mobile game-related purchases.

  • Global consumer spending increased by 25% in Q1 2021 compared to Q1 2020. (Sensor Tower, 2021)
  • Google Play has generated $13 billion thus far in consumer spend; meanwhile, a total of $9.2 billion has been spent on games in the App Store. (Sensor Tower, 2021)
  • 38% of mobile gamers across the world are willing to pay for games. (McConnell, 2020)
  • 33% of women pay for mobile games compared to 52% of men. (Google Play, 2019)
  • However, women spend more on in-app purchases (4.5%) than men (3.3%). (McConnell, 2020)
  • Mobile games can generate an average revenue per user (ARPU) of up to $61.16 in 2021. (Statista, 2021)
  • PUBG became the top-grossing mobile game of Q1 2021 followed by Honor of Kings and Genshin Impact. (Statista, 2021)

Consumer spending habits also vary depending on mobile gaming age demographics. A study conducted by Sell Cell looks into the spending habits of younger gamers from age 6 to 15 who live in the US. In this study, however, the target of the survey is not the specific age demographic but their parents. The focus of the study is to get 2,000 parents’ views on in-app purchases their children make on free-to-play games (Sell Cell, 2020).

  • According to 31% of parents, the mobile game their kids spend the most on is Fortnite.
  • Nearly 50% of parents do not allow their children to make any in-app purchases without permission; meanwhile, more than 40% of parents allow this to occur.
  • 62% of mobile gamers under 13 have already made in-app purchases.
  • 31.1% of parents approve of the in-app purchases their children made.
  • More than 40% of parents who approve of their children making in-app purchases set a budget limit of $10 a month.
  • On the other hand, 23% of parents allow their children’s mobile game spending to exceed $50-$100 a month.
  • Furthermore, more than 67% of parents are worried that their children will overspend on mobile game purchases.
  • Meanwhile, only 4 out of 10 parents would request a refund for the unauthorized purchases their children made.

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Impact of COVID-19 on Mobile Gamers

Mobile gaming is one of the few industries that have not been negatively affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. In fact, this segment of the gaming industry is thriving in the midst of the pandemic. But how does the pandemic affect mobile game players? In this section, we will look into the statistics that observe the changes in the behavior of mobile gamers.

  • 70% of gamers worldwide are spending more time playing mobile games during the pandemic. (Narusk, 2020)
  • Meanwhile, 65% of mobile game players reported that their gaming sessions have become longer. (Narusk, 2020)
  • Google also reported a 10% increase in the average engagement in mobile games during the pandemic. (Narusk, 2020)
  • 45% of mobile gamers are buying more new games, particularly in the 25-34 age group. (Narusk, 2020)
  • 36% of mobile game players returned to their old favorites because of new updates in the game. (Narusk, 2020)
  • Moreover, 49% of gamers stated that nostalgia prompted them to redownload old mobile games.
  • In 2020, 55% of mobile game usage was spent on core games; casual games account for 43% of playtime and casino games 2%. (Sydow, 2021)
  • First-time installs of mobile games also increased by 5%, bringing the number to 14 billion during the first quarter of 2021. (Sensor Tower, 2021)

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Top 5 Social Features and Activities Mobile Game Players Use More

During the Pandemic

Top 5 Social Features and Activities Mobile Game Players Use More
Connecting real-time in the game with friends: 39

Connecting real-time in the game with friends

%

Top 5 Social Features and Activities Mobile Game Players Use More
Customizing game characters: 39

Customizing game characters

%

Top 5 Social Features and Activities Mobile Game Players Use More
Connecting real-time in the game with other players: 39

Connecting real-time in the game with other players

%

Top 5 Social Features and Activities Mobile Game Players Use More
Tracking position on leaderboards/rankings: 39

Tracking position on leaderboards/rankings

%

Top 5 Social Features and Activities Mobile Game Players Use More
Using social media login: 38

Using social media login

%

Source: Medium 2021

Designed by

Mobile Gaming as a Social Connector

Mobile gaming has evolved into more than just a platform for personal amusement. In particular, it has become a legitimate platform for the growing esports industry.

It has also become a channel for social activities among players from different parts of the world. Mobile game developers seem to recognize how important it is for players to interact and engage as more games are now being equipped with social features that allow gamers to connect in real-time with friends and other players, as well as create clans or teams.

The need for a sense of community in the mobile gaming segment has only increased during the pandemic. This need has reached a point when social features have become one of the motivators for purchasing or downloading a mobile game. If you would like to explore this segment of the gaming industry, you may want to check out our mobile gaming statistics 2021 article.

References:

  1. AdColony. (2019, August 14). Breaking down mobile gaming demographics. AsColony. Retrieved May 13, 2021.
  2. AppsFlyer. (2021, January 7). Was 2020 a game changer for mobile gaming? AppsFlyer. Retrieved May 13, 2021.
  3. Clement, J. (2021, February 1). Average amount spent on video games by gamers including non-players in the United States as of July 2020, by platform. Statista. Retrieved May 14, 2021.
  4. Clement, J. (2021, May 10). Distribution of mobile gaming revenue in the United States as of 1st quarter 2021, by genre. Statista. Retrieved May 13, 2021.
  5. Clement, J. (2021, January 29). First year downloads of selected mobile shooter games worldwide as of June 2020. Statista. Retrieved May 13, 2021.
  6. Clement, J. (2021, May 5). Free-to-play games industry revenue in North America from 2017 to 2019, by category. Statista. Retrieved May 13, 2021.
  7. Clement, J. (2021, February 17). Leading gaming apps in the Google Play Store in the United States in January 2021, by number of downloads. Statista. Retrieved May 13, 2021.
  8. Clement, J. (2021, April 17). Leading iPhone gaming apps in the Apple App Store worldwide in April 2021, by daily active users. Statista. Retrieved May 13, 2021.
  9. Clement, J. (2021, March 26). Massively multiplayer online (MMO) and multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) games market size worldwide in 2017 and 2021. Statista. Retrieved May 13, 2021.
  10. Clement, J. (2021, January 29). Mobile gaming share of total gaming revenue worldwide from 2012 to 2021. Statista. Retrieved May 13, 2021.
  11. Clement, J. (2021, February 17). Leading gaming apps in the Google Play Store in the United States as of January 2021, by revenue. Statista. Retrieved May 13, 2021.
  12. Fang, E. (2019, July 24). Mobile game developers are missing a valuable demographic. Forbes. Retrieved May 13, 2021.
  13. GameRefinery Team. (2021, April 29). Q1 2021 market snapshot report. GameRefinery. Retrieved May 13, 2021.
  14. Juniper Research. (2017, April 18). World of Warcraft & other MMO/MOBA games to approach 25% of the $100bn digital games market in 2017. Juniper Research. Retrieved May 13, 2021.
  15. McConnell, N. (2020, March 31). Mobile gaming audience guide for app publishers. MoPub. Retrieved May 13, 2021.
  16. Narusk, K. (2020, August 18). The impact of lockdown on mobile gamers behaviors. Medium. Retrieved May 13, 2021.
  17. SellCell. (2020, March 3). Kids mobile gaming report: More than two-thirds of parents worry kids overspending on in-app purchases. SellCell.com. Retrieved May 13, 2021.
  18. Statista. (2021). Mobile games – Worldwide. Statista. Retrieved May 13, 2021.
  19. Wijman, T. (2018, April 30). Mobile Revenues Account for More Than 50% of the Global Games Market as It Reaches $137.9 Billion in 2018. Newzoo. Retrieved May 13, 2021.
  20. Wijman, T. (2019, June 18). The global games market will generate $152.1 billion in 2019 as the U.S. overtakes China as the biggest market. Newzoo. Retrieved May 13, 2021.
  21. Wijman, T. (2020, May 8). The world’s 2.7 billion gamers will spend $159.3 billion on games in 2020; The market will surpass $200 billion by 2023. Newzoo. Retrieved May 13, 2021.

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