Mobile gaming eclipses home game consoles, PC and Mac plays: Report


New Delhi: Mobile gaming overtook both home game consoles and PC and Mac gaming for the first time with the highest consumer spend in 2014.

But mobile gaming’s lead widened globally in 2016 with mobile game spend accounting over 25% higher than PC/Mac gaming and more than double home game consoles last year, according to a new report by App Annie and IDC.

According to the report, massive growth in Asia’s key markets helped it net the highest global gaming spend in 2016. Over 60% of spend was in Asia alone—a significant increase from last year. Also, new technologies bolstered the growth of mobile gaming with games that utilized augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR).

Among mobile apps, games represented over 80% of total worldwide consumer spend for combined iOS App Store and Google Play last year, while accounting for roughly 35% of total worldwide downloads.

Games also made up a larger share of Google Play’s consumer spending compared to iOS.

However, in terms of amount spent on games, consumers spent more on iOS than Google Play. In terms of worldwide spending, Asia-Pacific gained in share of game spending for iOS App Store and Google Play combined last year, mostly due to massive growth in China on iOS and Japan on both major app stores.

The region also gained a share of consumer spending for handheld titles and PC and Mac gaming.

Pokémon GO, primarily developed by Niantic, launched in July for iOS and Android, quickly became the world’s first hit AR game. It had the highest monthly active user base of any mobile game in every month in the second half of 2016, peaking at over 300 million active Android and iOS users in August. The game was the third-highest grossing mobile game for all of 2016, with over $950 million in total consumer spending despite only being out for second half of the year.

Gaming trends

• Both Nintendo and Sony enjoyed a top five grossing title on iOS and/or Android platforms, a clear shift in focus for the traditional handheld game console leaders—and implying both companies will be a force in mobile gaming in 2017 and beyond.

• All five of the top grossing games on handheld game consoles were part of either the Mario or Pokémon franchises, further proving the lasting power of Nintendo’s top properties. Unsurprisingly, these were both integral to Nintendo’s initial foray into the mobile gaming market.

• Pokémon GO emerged as the world’s first AR game mega hit—lifetime-to-date consumer spending topped $1 billion in early Q1 2017—and it follows that similar games will debut in 2017 and that, more broadly, AR will be an important and permanent component of the global mobile app market moving forward.

• Games generated over 80% of combined iOS and Google Play app spending in 2016 on less than 40% of total app downloads; mobile gaming is both larger and growing faster than PC/Mac gaming and home console gaming heading into 2017.

• Mobile gaming continued to grow at a healthy rate in 2016, expanding its lead over the other gaming devices.

• Rapid growth in a few key markets, most notably China and Japan, helped fuel mobile gaming’s ascent; over 60% of mobile game spending in 2016 occurred in Asia-Pacific, a significant increase from the previous year.

• For iOS and Google Play combined, Pokémon GO was the third highest-grossing game in 2016.