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App Annie, the mobile data and analytics firm driven by AI today released the Gaming Spotlight 2021 report in partnership with IDC.

Spending on mobile is set to extend its lead to more than 2.9x over desktop gaming and 3.1x more than home game consoles. One year into the pandemic, demand for mobile gaming continues to rise.

Globally, users downloaded 30% more mobile games per week in Q1 2021 from pre-pandemic levels, clocking in at over 1 billion games per week. In Q1 2021, consumers spent $1.7 billion per week in mobile games on iOS and Google Play, up 40% from pre-pandemic levels.

Select findings include:

  • Americas & Europe saw the biggest growth in market share for global consumer spend: US and Germany led the growth in North America and Western Europe, respectively, from Q1 2020 to Q1 2021. APAC still makes up around half of mobile gaming spend in Q1 2021
  • Publishers embrace cross-platform features: Top grossing games including Lineage M, Lords Mobile, Roblox and PUBG Mobile leveraged cross-platform experiences which translated to long term engagement and monetization potential
  • Cross-play features reign supreme: Games featuring the ability to access multiple platforms have gained in popularity.  Genshin Impact became a global blockbuster across mobile, PC and console as a result of a well-executed multi-platform roll out
  • Appetite for Hyper Casual & Simulation Games surged: Subgenres that saw the greatest growth in market share by downloads were Hyper Casual (+6.7pts), Kids (+1.0pts), Simulation (+0.6pts), and Racing (+0.3pts)
  • Game streaming increased engagement & monetization: Apps such as Discord and Twitch saw elevated per user engagement well into April 2021, as game streaming habits ingrained one year into the pandemic

“The smartphone platform has brought the joy of gaming to global users at an unprecedented rate. This is one of the biggest and yet strongest growth verticals in the app industry. Cross-platform functionality will drive acceleration — allowing for a console-quality experience to be in the pocket of every smartphone owner.” said Junde Yu, MD of Gaming, App Annie

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