Mobile game spending is leaving other platforms in the dust

Shawn Knight

Posts: 13,278   +132
Staff member
Why it matters: Consumer spending on mobile gaming has skyrocketed over the last half decade, leaving other platforms like home consoles, handhelds and the computer in the dust. And according to a new joint report out today, the trend isn't expected to deviate in 2021.

A new report out from app analytics firm App Annie and International Data Group (IDC) reveals that worldwide consumer spending on mobile games is expected to reach $120 billion this year. The next closest competitors, the PC and Mac, are only forecast to bring in a collective $41 billion.

Home consoles are expected to be just behind that at $39 billion with the handheld market (now exclusively driven by the Nintendo Switch) bringing up the rear with $4 billion.

Consumers are also spending more on in-game purchases than ever before. In the first quarter of 2021, consumers spent $1.7 billion per week on in-game items.

One of the bigger takeaways here is that demand for mobile gaming has remained strong more than a year into the Covid-19 pandemic. Looking at the data and using Q4 2019 as a basis, we see that average weekly game downloads were up 30 percent in Q1 2021. Spending, meanwhile, increased 40 percent over the same period.

Image credit Tero Vesalainen

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Posts: 703   +1,240
That's kind of like saying "Casinos and gambling leave all other tourist attractions in the dust"

Actually no, it's not "kind of" like that. It's exactly that: Not sure why anyone needs go pikachu-face.gif at the fact that unregulated gambling targeted at kids it's extremely profitable, doesn't gets more predatory than that.

Mr Majestyk

Posts: 766   +650
Never spent a cent on mobile gaming, and basically don't game at all on my phone. Occasionally on my iPad, but's that less frequent than it used to be.


Posts: 811   +1,130
TechSpot Elite
Anyone have the revenue per individual gamer for these categories? I'm curious if mobile wins purely because there's a lot more mobile devices than say PlayStations, or if the average mobile gamer is also spending more money as well (perhaps because those platforms are more oriented towards the "free"-to-play games that are so good at separating money from their players.)


Posts: 2,628   +2,262
I'd like to see a break down of the type of mobile games people are spending on. I can almost guarantee that gatchas are going to be near the top.


Posts: 172   +109
Profits don't equal quality. All of the good mobile games I've played had a one time cost and didn't demand money from me to keep playing. Some games like PUBG are actually free to play and don't roadblock gameplay behind a paywall, unfortunately most mobile and other free to play games make money from predatory purchases.