Mobile Gaming Surge Continues, Hits $1.7B in Q1

    • Mobile gaming continued its rise as the most popular form of gaming.
    • The sector now has more in sales than all other gaming categories combined.

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Even as pandemic restrictions ease, gamers are increasingly enamored with playing on their phones.

Weekly global spending on mobile games hit $1.7 billion in the first quarter, up 40% from last year, according to industry analyst App Annie. Prior to the pandemic surge, spending in the sector had remained roughly flat from the start of 2019 through the first quarter of 2020 at around $1.2 billion per week.

Mobile gaming was about equal in consumer spending to other types of gaming in 2014 but has emerged as the runaway winner.

  • The category is expected to see $120 billion in consumer sales this year.
  • That’s around triple the projections for PC and Mac gaming ($41 billion) and console gaming ($39 billion). Handheld consoles lag behind at $4 billion.
  • The mobile gaming industry is projected to grow 11% annually on average to $272 billion by 2030

The top grossers in Q1, per App Annie, were Roblox and “Genshin Impact.” Roblox, a gaming platform, went public via a direct listing in March. “Genshin Impact” is a roleplaying game published by Shanghai-based miHoYo.

Analytics firm GlobalData noted the rise of 5G and the technological parity that mobile games have with other types of gaming platforms as reasons for optimism regarding its ongoing projected growth.