In 2021, global consumer spending on mobile games reached $116 billion, according to App Annie.
Detailed in the company’s recent State of Mobile 2022 report, this represents a 15% year-over-year increase.
Additionally, the report highlights that mobile games make up the bulk of mobile consumer spending, which reached $170 billion for apps and games in 2021, a 19% year-over-year increase. . The figure exceeded the company’s previous forecast of $135 billion, setting new heights for the mobile industry.
The top-grossing mobile game genre was the 4X strategy, which generated $9.7 billion in consumer spending, an increase of approximately 25.3% year-over-year.
The second highest-earning genre was the MMORPG at $8.43 billion, followed by the team-based combat RPG genre at $8.02 billion.
Industry-leading games such as Roblox and Genshin Impact were major contributors to the increase in spending, along with recently released games based on popular IPs such as League of Legends: Wild Rift and Harry Potter: Magic Awakened.
Hypercasual player downloads
Hypercasual games were a key driver of spending, taking the top spots for global downloads across the various hypercasual subgenres, including action, puzzle, simulation and .io games. In total, hypercasual games have generated more than 12 billion downloads.
“Mobile is the best ever and the must-have device of the future,” said Theodore Krantz, CEO of App Annie.
“The big screen is slowly dying as mobile continues to break records in virtually every category: time spent, downloads and revenue.
“Mobile brings us closer, whether virtual or in person. The future will be based on an immersive entertainment experience that you create. You won’t watch movies, you will play them.”
The report also sheds light on audience demographics in different parts of the world. In the United States, France and Japan, female consumers show a preference for match 3 titles, such as Candy Crush Saga, while male consumers are more likely to play strategy games, such as Clash of Clans .
In line with rising consumer spending, more than 900 new apps and games generated their first million dollars in 2021, with game publishers making up the majority of starters.