For some, it is difficult to relate to mobile games as a proper media category. But that it most definitely is. Games played on mobile phones is now a vibrant industry, having grown considerably since the first preloaded game Tetris was preinstalled on the Siemens S1 in 1993, reaching consumers in 1994. This industry is now in its third decade.

We should all pay more attention to mobile games. Today’s smartphones provide immersive gaming experiences and the industry generates about $84 billion in revenue and that’s without taking advertising income into account. Mobile games is a huge, popular sector and still has significant headroom for growth.

This consumer survey from MEF provides an intuitive guide for all that want to understand more about this important category, the global landscape, how it compares to other categories, barriers to growth, and all with relevant case studies and regional spotlights.

Mobile Games 2021 – SNAPSHOT

  • Smartphone game playing is extremely popular. 68% of smartphone users globally have played a game in the last 6 months.

  • Gaming competes with listening to music as the most popular smartphone activity. Globally, gaming is more popular than listening to music or watching video content but in China, Spain, UK and Germany, listening to music is slightly more popular than playing games.

  • 59% of players are frequent gamers. But we find a much higher proportion of frequent gamers in Japan where 76% of those who have ever played a game are in fact frequent gamers.

  • Many gamers seem to have reached a comfortable level of playing time: 22% of users feel satisfied with their current usage levels and would not want to spend more time, 17% do not limit their usage at all and are already maximizing their time. However, there are still some barriers to usage:  17% do not trust some of the apps.

  • Just 21% of Brazil gamers are frequent gamers while the equivalent global figure is 59%. Over a third of those who have played a game are just casual gamers. They play just once every 6 months or less.

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