Money spent on mobile games in the first half of 2021 at shocking levels

Globally, consumers spent a total of $10 billion on mobile games in the first half of 2021.
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The spree of spending money on mobile games is increasing day by day.

As more and more consumers continue their appetite for a vast channel of spending money, such as the mobile gaming industry, the growth in the gaming industry seems to be continuing at full speed, rather than slowing down. It is also among the data that this interest of consumers causes an increase in spending on various mobile games.

According to data obtained by Finbold, consumers spent $10.32 billion on mobile games in the first half of 2021. The figure represents 23.88% growth over the same period of 2020 when total spending was $8.33 billion. In the first six months of 2021, consumers spent more than $1.75 billion in February. By contrast, January recorded the lowest spending at $1.7 billion.

Rising spending is directly related to the number of games in global consumer spending exceeding $1 million. While the number of games remained at 542 in the first half of 2021, the number of recorded games in 2020 exceeded 523. Before we forget, data on mobile app spending is provided by App Annie.

Consumer spending on mobile games globally (in billions, US dollars)
Consumer spending on mobile games globally (in billions, US dollars)

What was the impact of the pandemic on mobile gaming spending?

Over the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic has fueled demand for mobile games that offer some form of entertainment for people under quarantine. However, based on rising consumer spending, it shows that mobile gaming demand remains strong with no signs of slowing down. The request comes after the easing of COVID-19 restrictions in most regions.

Specifically, as of August 2020, the research showed that more than 35% of the global population is made up of players representing 2.7 billion people. The player count was recorded at the height of the health crisis, which highlighted the impact of the pandemic on the industry.

Games past 1 million consumer spend (monthly average)
Games past 1 million consumer spend (monthly average)

In addition to the epidemic, various factors have driven consumer spending on mobile games. In recent months, many publishers have turned to innovative ways to keep consumers addicted. Most developers focused on new content and events to continue attracting more users.

Additionally, various global markets have witnessed increasing opportunities to monetize the mobile app store. At the same time, developers began to offer more alternative forms of payment, such as credit/debit cards, direct carrier billing, and payments through popular digital wallets. As predicted, with the new payment options, consumers are more likely to spend and it has become easier.

In addition, spending is likely inspired by the changing nature of mobile gaming. With the outbreak of the pandemic, many developers have tried to make mobile games outstrip other forms of digital game consumption.

For example, more mobile devices are now able to offer console-like graphics and gaming experiences, such as those with cross-platform capabilities and social gaming capabilities. Accordingly, games with real-time online features are among the top-grossing apps, including those with PvP (player versus player) and cross-play features.

Mobile games generate substantial revenue

Interestingly, consumer spending is also significantly reflected in the revenues of some games. Previous research shows that as of June 2021, the top-grossing game on iPhone devices in the US averaged $11.2 million per day or the equivalent of $336.2 million each month.

Global gaming, in general, has also resulted in increased interest in a new form of sport within esports. Esports is becoming increasingly mainstream, with organizers arranging substantial cash prizes for players around the world. For example, as of July 2021, the top ten players in esports have cumulatively earned $53.16 million in prize money.

One thing worth noting is that the growth in games with more spending comes with increased access to smartphones. Specifically, most publishers offer games suitable for both low-end and high-end smartphones to cover all demographics.

In the coming months, spending is likely to increase further as trends like cloud streaming services in mobile gaming take shape. With games once limited to consoles coming to mobile devices, more consumers are likely to spend more.

In addition, with the penetration of high-capacity fast 5G telecom networks, integrating console-quality graphics with mobile devices will also lead to extra expenses.

Source: Finbold

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