What was the effect of COVID-19 on the mobile games market?

mobile games

COVID-19, that has affected the world since the beginning of 2020, has caused unpredictable times for all industries. Especially, the rules of quarantine affected consumers not only economically but also psychologically.

We started to look for new ways to socialize due to the social distance rules and lockdowns. In this process, games that reach significance, became the key point of socialization for many people.

Current researches on the game industry also reveal data that proves the situation. According to the “Global Game Industry and Covid-19 Effects” study conducted by Simon-Kucher & Partners and the independent market research institute Dynata, monthly spending for video games worldwide increased by 39%.

In Newzoo‘s report, it is predicted that the mobile gaming market will achieve a revenue of $ 77.2 billion with a growth of 13.3% this year.

After lockdowns, spending for video games is expected to stabilize at 21%.

Mobile games became a means of socializing

According to “Global Game Industry and Covid-19 Effects” research, covering 17 countries including Turkey, during the Covid-19 period, the number of people playing between 5 and 20 hours a week increased from 63% to 82%.

It is expected to settle at 74% after lockdown measures are eased. When it comes to Turkey, the numbers increased from 75% to 93%. It is expected to settle at 74% after the pandemic.

According to data shared by App Annie, mobile game downloads remained at around 1 billion weekly in the third quarter, increasing 15% year on year.

The total number of downloads in the third quarter reached 14 billion. Among the genres, hyper-casual titles proved to be the most popular, followed by the puzzle and simulation genres.

Thanks to Among Us, with the number of total downloads reached 120.8 million according to Sensor Tower data, casual games became one of the most rising mobile genres this quarter.

Among Us hits 120.8 million downloads two years after release.

Mobile gaming revenues continue to grow

When considered the increase in both the downloads and the time spent in game, it is also expected that the revenues from the games will increase.

Mobile consumers spent $20 billion on games throughout Q3 2020 according to data provided by App Annie.

During the COVID-19 process, there was a 39% increase in monthly spending on video games worldwide. The effect of the pandemic on this increase is significant. However, even after pandemic restrictions, the increase is expected to stabilize at 21%.

If we look at the increases in spending on games in the US and Turkey; 13% in the US, a 21% increase was seen in Turkey.

Consumer spending on mobile games increased by 5% compared to the previous quarter.

However, it should be noted that making players spend in game is not an easy task, especially when it comes to mobile games. At this point, in-game advertising (IAA) allows the revenues to increase significantly.

In the report published by Newzoo, it is estimated that the mobile game market will reach $77.2 billion by 2020.

Although these revenues are largely driven by the App Store and Google Play, third-party store revenues continue to grow rapidly.

According to estimates,

  • Apple’s App Store will generate $38.8 billion in mobile gaming revenue this year, accounting for more than half of all mobile gaming revenue worldwide (increasing 10,3% year-on-year).
  • Game revenues from Google Play will reach $27.8 billion (icreasing 15% year-on-year).
  • The remaining $10.6 billion will come from third-party Android app stores, which means an increase of 20.5% year-on-year. The biggest contribution to the increase in this share is the Chinese market because Google Play is banned.
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