Mobile games were on an uptrend even before COVID, but the outbreak fuelled the growth to incredible levels in the first half of 2020. According to the research data analyzed and published by Safe Betting Sites, game downloads during the period totaled 28.4 billion.
In Q1 2020, the total number of downloads was 13.4 billion, a 20.7% surge quarter over quarter (Q/Q) and a year-on-year (YoY) increase of 39%. Player spending during the period rose at a slightly slower pace, 6.6% Q/Q and 16% YoY, totaling $17.5 billion.
By Q2, mobile game downloads and revenue had increased to the highest levels on record. According to AppAnnie, in the first week of Q2 2020, the weekly number of game downloads broke records, surpassing the 1.2 billion mark. Throughout the quarter, the weekly download levels maintained an average of 1 billion. In terms of average weekly downloads, that was a 20%+ growth rate YoY.
Overall, mobile game downloads in Q2 increased by 12.2% Q/Q, translating to a 44.4% rise YoY, surpassing the 15 billion mark. April 2020 saw the highest number of downloads, at 5.5 billion.
India had the highest number of game downloads during the half. In Q1, it had almost 1.8 billion downloads, rising to 2.7 billion in Q2, an increase of nearly 50%. The US came in second with approximately 1.4 billion downloads in both quarters.
In third place was Brazil, with 1.1 billion downloads in Q1, increasing to 1.2 billion in Q2, a 9% growth rate. China went against the grain, dropping from 743 million downloads in Q1 to 477 million in Q2, a 35.8% decline.
Google Play outpaced the App Store in terms of total downloads during the half. In comparison to 5.7 billion downloads from the App Store, Google Play had 22.8 billion downloads.
Global Games Revenue Increases by 21.5% to Peak at $6.6B in May 2020
For the entire H1 2020 period, May had the peak revenue of $6.6 billion, an increase of 21.5% YoY. During this period, the App Store contributed the bulk of the revenue. According to Statista, game revenue from the App Store in Q1 amounted to $10.6 billion compared to Play Store’s $6.9 billion. Similarly, in Q2, $11.6 billion came from the App Store while Play Store contributed $7.7 billion.
The first half of the year thus saw the app store net $22.2 billion from game apps. This represented a YoY growth of close to 23% seeing as in H1 2019 the revenue was $18.1 billion. In comparison to Play Store, Apple made 52% more in mobile gaming revenue.
Notably, consumer spending on the App Store and Google Play during H1 2020 amounted to $50.1 billion. The App Store made approximately $32.8 billion during H1 2020 from games, premium apps, subscriptions and in-app purchases. Google Play’s gross revenue for the same period was $17.3 billion, less than half that of the Apple App Store.
The US led in game revenue for the first half of the year, generating over $10 billion. From $4.5 billion in user spending in Q1, it rose by 24.4% to $5.6 billion in Q2. Revenue in the US peaked in May at $1.9 billion.
Japan came in second, with a total of $8 billion, $3.8 billion in Q1, growing by 13.2% to $4.3 billion in Q2. In the third spot, China once again defied general trends, shedding 8.6% from $3.5 billion in Q1 to $3.2 billion in Q2, a total of $6.7 billion.
Mobile Game Downloads to Grow by 35.7% to 57B in 2020, 75B in 2024
According to Sensor Tower data, mobile game downloads are expected to reach 57 billion in 2020. It would mark a 35.7% growth rate YoY. A similar uptrend is expected to carry into subsequent years. By 2024, the same source projects global downloads in the environs of 75 billion.
In terms of player spending, 2019 global mobile game revenue was $63 billion. 2020 is set to have a massive spike of 14.3% YoY to $72 billion. This figure is forecast to grow to $98 billion by 2024.
The App Store is expected to continue accounting for the bulk of the revenue, growing by a CAGR of 8.5% between 2019 and 2024. By 2024, its revenue is projected to grow a massive 51%. Google Play, on the other hand, is estimated to have a CAGR of 10.2% during the same period.
AppAnnie projects that consumer spending on mobile games is set to outpace spending on the home console over 3.1 times by the end of 2020. Similarly, it will overtake desktop gaming spending by at least 2.8 times in the same period.