App Annie/IDC Highlight Mobile Gaming On The Rise

June 11, 2015 - Written By Justin Diaz

Mobile gaming is big business, it’s also grown extremely popular over the last couple years. In 2015, mobile gaming is seeing a huge rise in popularity, with consumer spending being a key focus of the driven growth, and those which include online multiplayer as part of the package in particular are seeing the bulk of it according to the latest report from App Annie and IDC. The report also points out that mobile gaming is sure to see a lift once Nintendo and DeNA’s collaborative efforts make their debut following their recent announcement of a partnership for mobile games. Nintendo is just the tip of the iceberg though, with other big name and longtime gaming publishers like Square Enix and Konami who have typically made most of their titles for consoles and PC looking forward more towards the mobile space as well.

As part of this report, we can see a chart which represents the number of gamers across different platforms which had used a web-connected device to play games, potentially accessing online multiplayer content. The chart shows figures from Q1 of 2015, although App Annie points out that because many gamers can and probably do own multiple gaming platforms, that totals cannot be summed up. What is interesting though is that the ‘Portables’ category towers over those numbers from the console and PC category in just the first quarter of this year alone, so imagine the end of year numbers. It’s worth noting that the portables category also includes portable handhelds such as the PS Vita and the Nintendo 3DS as well as tablets and smartphones, so this category isn’t all mobile titles.

Even more interesting, is the growth of mobile gaming on a platform basis year over from Q1 of 2014 to Q1 of 2015. According to App Annie and IDC, Android is the leading platform for mobile games, but not only that, it was also the only platform which saw a percentage growth from last year’s numbers by 4.3 points, which amounts to a total of almost 75% for installed base of mobile games on smartphones and tablets worldwide. By the time Q1 of 2015 hit, Android’s installed base for smartphone and tablets used for mobile gaming reached a total of 1.1 billion, which is no small task, but also not too shocking when you consider the amount of Android devices that are out there and active. When you compare these numbers to other platforms like iOS and the remaining “others” group on the chart, both fell by 2.0 points and 2.3 points respectively.

Compared to the downloads of apps, games amounted to a total of 40% of the installs on Android, while they were 30% of the installs on iOS. This isn’t quite half, but it’s still a huge share of download numbers, increased nonetheless over previous years which shows mobile gaming is becoming bigger and bigger. When it comes to the share of consumer spending attributable to games, overall from Q1 of 2014 to Q1 of 2015 Android’s Play Store was once again ahead of the iOS App Store, raising little by little over time while the App Store stayed at a plateau for consumer spending. This is not to be confused with the consumer spending “on games,” which App Annie reports was led by the iOS App Store, followed by the Play Store on Android and finally with handheld game consoles bringing up the rear. The revenue numbers chart takes into account revenue gained from packaged games as well as digital games, but doesn’t include any revenue gained from ads.

When it comes to regions, consumer spending on games in each region is not equal with some regions spending more than others. By and large, the countries within the Asia-Pacific regions spent the most on games between Q1 of 2014 to Q1 of 2015. This goes for all three platforms recorded, which includes iOS, the Play Store, and handheld game consoles. North America comes in second in both the iOS App Store and Play Store categories, while North America seems to have roughly tied with Western Europe for the handheld game console category. Everyone else is lumped into the “rest of the world” category which is to no surprise the regions which spent the least amount on mobile games.

When time is contrasted against money, how much time are portable gamers spending in online multiplayer games compared to how much they’re spending monetarily? According to the report those who play online multiplayer titles via portables, (smartphones, tablets & handhelds) the amount of time spent raised by 35 minutes extra per week for the average gamer during the time between Q2 of 2013 and Q2 of 2015, which just ended. that may not seem like a lot, and perhaps it’s not, but it’s important to remember this is a figure based on recordings of the average gamer who typically spends less time playing games.The most popular portable game type? Casino games, at least here in the U.S. Surprisingly though, non-multiplayer casino games that were not online ranked higher than those which played online against others, breaching almost 50%. Second on the chart shows Action/Adventure, and Puzzle games in very close proximity with both game genres slightly above 40%. The takeaway here is that mobile gaming is big and growing, so it’s only going to get bigger, likely with a heavier focus on online connected games which feature multiplayer options for gamers. This can only go higher with the rise in mobile games being published by AAA companies like Nintendo, Square Enix, Konami and others. You can read the full report from App Annie at the link below.