PUBG Mobile
Credits: Wikimedia Commons

The pandemic has given millions of people a lot of free time on their hands, resulting in them spending a lot more time on their hobbies. And what is among the favorite pastimes for thousands of individuals the world over, regardless of their age? Mobile gaming, of course. So it should come as no surprise that the average spending on mobile games has risen significantly during the pandemic. However, what does in fact, come as a shock, is the fact that this rise has been a staggering 40% as compared to pre-pandemic levels, with the mobile game spending hitting a new milestone at a value of $1.7 billion per week in the first quarter of fiscal year 2021.

A report released by App Annie, a globally renowned analytics platform, has revealed that mobile game downloads went up by 30% per week in Q1 2021, as compared to the pre-pandemic values in Q4 2019, now sitting at more than 1 billion downloads per week.

This change in trend has also resulted in increased consumer spending in mobile game apps, which clocked in at over 50% more than the spending noted by other forms of gaming, such as console, PC/Mac, or handheld forms. Moreover, the overall mobile gaming market is all set to become around 2.9 times greater than the PC/Mac market, and 3.1 times the size of the home game console market.

As per the report, the United States and Germany led the gamut in the North American  and West European markets, respectively, in terms of the growth noted by mobile game spending year-over-year in 2021’s first quarter. Saudi Arabia and Turkey emerged as the market leaders in the rest of the world, except the Asia-Pacific.

App Annie further notes that the profits and growth seen by the mobile game and console markets might not be as independent of each other as it appears at a first glance, considering how more and more mobiles and smartphones are coming equipped with the ability to extend their graphics and gameplay to mimic those provided by consoles, along with cross-platform abilities.

The report also notes that user sentiment towards in-game mobile ads has became better in Q4 2020, as compared to Q3 2019, but rewarded video ads remain the most popular among US users. The number of downloads seen by mobile companion apps for consoles, including Xbox Game Pass, Steam, My Nintendo, Nintendo Switch, etc., is higher as compared to pre-pandemic values, after having seen a peak around April 2020.

Roblox topped the charts among Top Grossing games worldwide during Q1 2021, on both the Android and iOS. This hints to somewhat of a trend among users to prefer apps that come with real-time online features, like cross-play.