Mobile games market revenue declines in the first half of 2022

Compared with Q1 2020, player spending in 2022 was still up nearly 20 percent, though.
A pair of hands holding holding a phone and playing mobile game

Mobile gaming continues to grow and is expected to reach new highs in the upcoming five years or so, per reliable data providers such as Data.ai, Niko Partners, Google Gaming, and many others. However, the revenue growth has come to a check and the first half of 2022 saw a decline year-over-year for both Q1 and Q2 according to Sensor Tower’s latest report.

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The data provider believes the game industry is facing significant headwinds due to the ever-increasing cost of living crisis, inflation, IDFA changes and a few other factors, but ensure the industry experts that this decline was expected. On top of that, numbers are quite positive when compared to the pre-covid period. Meaning even after the post-boom the game industry is performing quite well, just not as well as it did prior to lockdowns.

According to the report, global player spending on mobile games across the App Store and Google Play saw a decline for the first time ever since the peak in Q1 2021, which was approximately $22.6 billion in overall revenue. It seems like player spending is down by nearly 6% year-over-year for Q1, and Q2 2022 saw a decline of 6.9%, to $20.1 billion.

Mid-core mobile games are the dominant revenue generators

About 60% of the global player spending in mobile games for the first half of 2022 comes from mid-core games. Role-playing games take the number one spot with 27%, followed by strategy games with 21%. Shooters and action games come after, generating 6 and 5% of the overall revenue, respectively.

Meanwhile, casual games generated nearly 26% of the overall revenue for mobile gaming. In this area, puzzle games were the most popular, followed by simulations and lifestyle games.

Sensor Tower’s global mobile game spending forecast

Despite the headwinds, Sensor Tower predicts ever-increasing player spending figures for both Apple’s App Store and Google Play. Per the report, 2022 is just a hiccup along the way (and not even a necessarily bad one), and both markets will see growth every year.

Both stores are forecast to grow at a healthy CAGR, Appstore by 6% and Google Play by 5%; in fact, App Store will continue to grow in 2022 as well and reach $53 billion. However, the data provider thinks Google Play user spending will dip year-over-year to $33 billion by the time the year wraps up.

However, Sensor Tower’s data doesn’t include any third-party marketplaces, meaning China’s Android data is non-existent in this report.

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