Global mobile games revenue hits nearly $58.7 billion in the first nine months of 2020, according to Sensor Tower.
This figure, which means an annual increase of 25.7 percent, can be associated with the ongoing pandemic. When we look at the increase between Q1 and Q3 2019, mobile games spending grew 17.5 percent Y/Y to an estimated $46.7 billion.
To further understand the impact of COVID-19 on growth, we can analyze the year at a quarterly level. In Q1, player spending hit $17.7 billion, while in Q2, revenue rose 13.6 percent quarter-over-quarter to more than $20 billion. In Q3, when the lockdowns were decreased, growth had slowed, with player spending rising by 4.1 percent Q/Q to nearly $21 billion.
App Store spending in mobile games grew by 25.3 percent Y/Y during Q1 to Q3 2020 to approximately $35.2 billion. Meanwhile, player spending on Google Play increased slightly faster, rising by 26.3 percent Y/Y to $23.5 billion.
The US has proven to be the top-spending country in the world with $16.5 billion generated revenue. Japan ranked No. 2 with more than $13 billion in spending, while China ranked No. 3, accumulating $10.6
More downloads, more spending
As with player spending, downloads reached 42,7 billion with 36.9 percent Y/Y increase during Q1 to Q3 2020. By comparison, during the same period in 2019, game installs grew just 7.7 percent Y/Y to about 31.2 billion. Google Play downloads grew 42.8 percent to 34.7 billion. On the App Store, downloads increased 15.9 percent to 8 billion.
During the first three quarters of 2020, India ranked No. 1 for global game downloads, generating approximately 7.3 billion installs, or 17.2 percent of total downloads. The U.S. ranked No. 2 with about 4.2 billion, or 9.8 percent, while Brazil ranked No. 3 with about 3.5 billion, or approximately 8 percent.
On the games front, PUBG Mobile was the top grossing game during the first three quarters of 2020 by generating more than $2 billion in player spending. Another Tencent title, Honor of Kings ranked No. 2, while Pokémon GO from Niantic ranked No. 3.
The most downloaded title during this period was Garena Free Fire from Garena Games, which racked up more than 220 million installs. PUBG Mobile ranked No. 2, while Subway Surfers from SYBO Games ranked No. 3.