Note: this is an excerpt from our recent report, Leveling Up Your Mobile Game: Using Audience Measurement Data to Boost User Acquisition and Engagement. To download a copy of the full report, please click here.
If you’re in the mobile gaming industry, understanding the size of your potential audience is critical. Verto Analytics data reveals that 105.6 million U.S. consumers now play mobile games via smartphones and tablets every month. This group represents approximately 43 percent of the total U.S. population (ages 18 and older).
In the world of apps, mobile games are not the largest category, especially when compared to social or shopping. However, the category possesses one extremely unique characteristic—users spend an enormous amount of time engaged with mobile games each month. Mobile gamers comprise 57 percent of all mobile app users.
The Explosive Growth of Mobile Games
Consider the following facts about the growth of mobile games:
- Mobile gaming revenue hit $30 billion worldwide in 2015, surpassing console gaming at $26.4 billion. (Source: Newzoo)
- Active iOS consumers in the U.S. spent an average of $35 on apps in 2015, 70 percent ($25) of which was for games and in-app purchases within games. (Source: IDC)
Verto Analytics data indicates that, while games rank eighth in overall reach, loyal and passionate players help the category dominate in time spent (second overall) among all app users (see above graphs). In the aggregate, U.S. app users spend an incredible 1.15 billion hours each month playing games on smartphones and tablets. That’s approximately 12 percent of all monthly app time.
However, despite the enormity of the user base (105.6 million) and the amount of time that users spend playing mobile games, today’s mobile game developer faces two immediate challenges: fragmentation and new competitors.
Currently, only two individual games—Candy Crush Saga and Words with Friends—reach 5 percent of mobile app users each month. While leading mobile game developers such as Supercell, King, and Zynga are common fixtures among the ranks of top performing games, few of their individual games (four at present) reach more than 3 percent of all mobile app users.
Gamer.biz confirms that the mobile gaming marketplace is crowded. As of April 2016, more than half a million mobile games were available for download in the iOS App Store alone, with approximately 300 new submissions arriving each day.
Even with such fierce competition for gamer attention, 77 mobile games currently deliver an audience of one million or more monthly users. Of these, five games reach more than five million players while another two games deliver audiences of more than 10 million.
As more games and even more gamers emerge, expect more mobile game titles (currently 77) to surpass the one million mark in audience reach.
What’s the next step for mobile game developers? Click here to download the complete report, which includes key takeaways and valuable insights for the mobile gaming industry.