Consoles and PCs may attract the most engaged gamers and media interest, but mobile devices are still the largest platform for video games. The latest annual round-up from industry analyst Sensor Tower shows how big the mobile gaming economy has grown and the numbers are reaching new heights.
Mobile game spending increased in 2021 and will reach $ 89.6 billion by year-end. This measures global mobile game sales on both Apple’s App Store and Google Play. That’s an increase of 12.6 percent from the $ 79.6 billion spent in 2020 Sensor tower, that revenue represents the bulk of the spend in any marketplace, accounting for 61.5 percent of iOS revenue and 78 percent of Google Play revenue.
On iOS, Tencent’s Honor of Kings is the top-selling game at a staggering $ 2.9 billion, up 16 percent year over year. Extremely popular in its native China, the MOBA recently exceeded $ 10 billion in lifetime revenue, a notable milestone since it was first launched in 2015.
Meanwhile, Moon Active’s Coin Master is the top earner on Google Play, grossing nearly $ 912 million this year, up from $ 809.8 million in 2020. Interestingly, Mihoyo’s Genshin Impact is the third highest grossing income on both the App Store and also on google play. On iOS, PUBG Mobile ranks second, while Garena Free Fire takes that position on Android.
The first-time installations of mobile games decreased slightly compared to the previous year and reached 55.3 billion in 2021, compared to 56.2 billion in the previous year. “However, this slight decline is expected after the unprecedented surge in adoption in 2020 due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic,” noted Sensor Tower.
The Battle Royale Garena Free Fire, which was developed by the Singaporean developer and publisher Garena, is by far the most downloaded with 218.8 million downloads on Google Play. This is a decrease of 14 percent from the previous year. Meanwhile, PUBG Mobile ranks first in most downloads on the Apple platform. The endless runner Subway Surfers from Kiloo Games took second place in terms of total downloads on both platforms.
In 2021, mobile games accounted for 67.4 percent of all in-app spend, showing a relative decrease compared to previous years. In 2019, games accounted for 74.1 percent of all in-app spend compared to 71.7 percent in 2020. Sensor Tower said that decline was due to growth in other sectors, such as the entertainment category, which received a boost from the pandemic.
Next: Why Pokemon Go developer Niantic is worth more than Ubisoft and CD Projekt
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