Mobile gaming is big business, accounted for 33 percent of app installs and 74 percent...

Polycount

TS Evangelist
Staff member

Although mobile gaming is often derided by PC and console gamers, there's no denying the industry's widespread appeal. Games like Candy Crush, Clash of Clans, and others are not only convenient -- it's easy to pop in for a few minutes at a time -- but they also tend to be either cheap or completely free-to-play.

Thanks to a report from App Annie, we can now more easily quantify the industry's growth. According to the report, in the mobile app market, games account for a whopping 10 percent of the total time users spend in apps. That may not seem like much at first, but when you consider the fact that time-hogs like Facebook, Twitter, and Netflix are included, 10 percent is a pretty big number.

Regarding download figures, mobile games accounted for 33 percent of all downloaded apps in 2018 (that number is expected to increase to 60 percent in 2019). Furthermore, an astounding 74 percent of all consumer spending on mobile app stores came through video games.

Breaking that down further, only about 5 percent of that revenue came from outright buying apps -- the other 95 percent was from in-app purchases, proving the success of free-to-play business models like randomized loot boxes, paid XP boosts, and more.

The amount of time the average person spends in a mobile game is increasing more, as well. In 2018, the total number of hours spent playing mobile games increased from around 100 billion to roughly 130 billion.

It's also worth looking at the age ranges of people who play mobile games. In 2018, the vast majority of mobile gamers were over 25 years old throughout most of the world -- China is the only exception, where the distribution of gamers aged 16-24 and those over 25 was roughly 50/50.

It's tough to say whether or not mobile gaming will continue to grow in the coming years as platforms like Stadia gain traction, but we'll certainly be keeping our eye on the industry over time.

Permalink to story.

 

ghostf1re

TS Guru
I used to be big into mobile gaming back in the early Angry Birds days and what not. Now, I avoid them like the plague. They're all completely riddled with intrusive ads that constantly interrupt gameplay, unless you pay for their premium version. Even in some cases, the premium versions are only marginally better. I haven't had fun in a mobile game in years and the sole reason are these predatory microtransactions being dangled in front of you as you're having ads shoved down your throat.

It's shocking to me that mobile gaming is even popular these days for this reason alone. I feel like the people who are buying into these games are just mindless drones created by the smartphone culture. It makes me sound old even say this. I'm only 32.
 

darkich

TS Rookie
I used to be big into mobile gaming back in the early Angry Birds days and what not. Now, I avoid them like the plague. They're all completely riddled with intrusive ads that constantly interrupt gameplay, unless you pay for their premium version. Even in some cases, the premium versions are only marginally better. I haven't had fun in a mobile game in years and the sole reason are these predatory microtransactions being dangled in front of you as you're having ads shoved down your throat.

It's shocking to me that mobile gaming is even popular these days for this reason alone. I feel like the people who are buying into these games are just mindless drones created by the smartphone culture. It makes me sound old even say this. I'm only 32.
Plot twist..
Two of the most popular and lucrative games on mobile are actually 100% free to play.
Fortnite and PUBG.

Anyway, there are literally tens of thousands of games on mobile that CAN be played for free all up to the endgame. It's just that they're usually not the most popular, ironically.
 

Nobina

TS Evangelist
Since mobile games are mostly garbage I can kinda see an opportunity there. If someone with a good idea can make a game that's an actual game not an ad ridden **** and it works on smartphone controls it could be pretty dope.
 

neeyik

TS Evangelist
Staff member
Disgust seems an overt reaction to something that one is not required to buy into. I don't see a universe of difference between the cash grab modus operandi of the mobile industry to the cash grab of the loot box/microtransaction/vacuous DLC status quo of the console/PC industry. Both exist because there is enough people to generate the revenue to keep it alive. A top-end smartphone is at least, and typical more, expensive than a console but you can't beat it for sheer convenience.
 

Slappy McPhee

TS Addict
I used to be big into mobile gaming back in the early Angry Birds days and what not. Now, I avoid them like the plague. They're all completely riddled with intrusive ads that constantly interrupt gameplay, unless you pay for their premium version. Even in some cases, the premium versions are only marginally better. I haven't had fun in a mobile game in years and the sole reason are these predatory microtransactions being dangled in front of you as you're having ads shoved down your throat.

It's shocking to me that mobile gaming is even popular these days for this reason alone. I feel like the people who are buying into these games are just mindless drones created by the smartphone culture. It makes me sound old even say this. I'm only 32.
Plot twist..
Two of the most popular and lucrative games on mobile are actually 100% free to play.
Fortnite and PUBG.

Anyway, there are literally tens of thousands of games on mobile that CAN be played for free all up to the endgame. It's just that they're usually not the most popular, ironically.

Please....the original game are FTP, but that is just a gateway to microtransactions so in the end it being "free to play" is a bunch of BS because they do everything they can to lure you into spending something.
 

Slappy McPhee

TS Addict
Disgust seems an overt reaction to something that one is not required to buy into. I don't see a universe of difference between the cash grab modus operandi of the mobile industry to the cash grab of the loot box/microtransaction/vacuous DLC status quo of the console/PC industry. Both exist because there is enough people to generate the revenue to keep it alive. A top-end smartphone is at least, and typical more, expensive than a console but you can't beat it for sheer convenience.
it is pretty simple really. the fact that microtransactions happen on PC and some console games now is complete BS and personally disgusting to me because especially when you link it to DLC the fact is very prevalent that these companies many times are selling/releasing broken games all in the name of digging further into your wallet. it is dirty and underhanded. these types of transactions didn't start until the mobile market began with people being "smart" enough at developers to determine that they had a means to suck more cash over the long haul in small transactions rather than charging them $60, which by the way you would have to be clinically insane to toss $60 into a mobile game, so they made FTP or Freemium games. The iPhone users of the world ate that up like candy because they are used to being lead like sheeple. Since it was working in the mobile space various companies like Activision and EA "learned" quickly that it was worth a try to start stuffing that garbage into consoles and PCs. I have no issue of purchasing DLC if it isn't something that fixes what is a broken experience out of the gate. You can call me a gaming snob or elitist and I could care less, but mobile gaming is a large facet of what is putting gaming on a very bad course. The fact that people like an aunt I have by marriage are being so easily lured into spending hundreds of dollars on a mobile game is disgusting and sickening especially with the various ways they do it so that it fulfills a gambling itch or the dreaded pay-to-win model. I have a hacked Switch. I mainly use it for retro homebrew, but I also have no issue picking up backups of current games when they are ones that are designed like this or even ones like what Capcom does with the BS maneuver where you buy a cart, but have to download 80% of the game essentially eliminating the secondary market. Lastly, good grief the experience is so terrible on a mobile phone especially with having to use touch controls on the screen or being forced to use a standalone controller. Boggles my mind....just buy a Switch and get a hell of a lot better experience....well except for voice chat...but that is a total different discussion for another day...lol.
 

realestmfever

TS Rookie
I used to be big into mobile gaming back in the early Angry Birds days and what not. Now, I avoid them like the plague. They're all completely riddled with intrusive ads that constantly interrupt gameplay, unless you pay for their premium version. Even in some cases, the premium versions are only marginally better. I haven't had fun in a mobile game in years and the sole reason are these predatory microtransactions being dangled in front of you as you're having ads shoved down your throat.

It's shocking to me that mobile gaming is even popular these days for this reason alone. I feel like the people who are buying into these games are just mindless drones created by the smartphone culture. It makes me sound old even say this. I'm only 32.
can't people just disable their data just to not see the ads? I like to play sudoku, 2049, and even tried some random sponsored games I saw on the net like ball blast ad color bump 3d and I've only seen an ad maybe5 times total over the years
 

darkich

TS Rookie
Actually that's COMPLETELY false, and, ironically, plain BS. Shows you have mo idea what you're talking about.
PUBG and Fortnite ARE 100% f2p on mobile too.
Entire revenue comes from cosmetic items.

Please....the original game are FTP, but that is just a gateway to microtransactions so in the end it being "free to play" is a bunch of BS because they do everything they can to lure you into spending something.
 

Armenta28

TS Rookie
Actually that's COMPLETELY false, and, ironically, plain BS. Shows you have mo idea what you're talking about.
PUBG and Fortnite ARE 100% f2p on mobile too.
Entire revenue comes from cosmetic items.

Please....the original game are FTP, but that is just a gateway to microtransactions so in the end it being "free to play" is a bunch of BS because they do everything they can to lure you into spending something.
What are cosmetic items in this context? I am sincerely interested in examples of this as I have a game myself.
 

Slappy McPhee

TS Addict
Actually that's COMPLETELY false, and, ironically, plain BS. Shows you have mo idea what you're talking about.
PUBG and Fortnite ARE 100% f2p on mobile too.
Entire revenue comes from cosmetic items.
Still the same damned concept. People that play these games and waste real money for cosmetics are sad, sad, sad individuals with poor judgement for financials...lmao. These games of this genre are for those too weak and lack the courage to do the real thing. You want to run around with the prospect of shooting someone and possibly being shot then join the military instead of being some button pressing pansy.