Mobile Game Downloads Hit New Weekly Record of 1.2B

Courtesy of PUBG Corporation
'PUBG Mobile'

According to the latest report from data and analytics provider App Annie, simulation and board games are in highest demand amid novel coronavirus-related lockdowns.

Amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, mobile games continue to drive forward digital game consumption at a rapid pace. According to the latest report from data and analytics provider App Annie, weekly mobile gaming downloads spiked as high as 1.2 billion, setting a new world record.

The research, looking at trends and preferences among a variety of games and players in all regions, indicates that games represented nearly 70 percent of worldwide consumer spending for iOs and Google Play platforms in the first quarter of 2020. Although it only garnered 40 percent of total app downloads worldwide, mobile gaming grew faster than gaming on PC and Mac computers, as well as home consoles.

Simulation, trivia, board, casual and adventure games are in highest demand amid indoor lockdowns, the report shows. Among those subgenres, board games — such as Ludo King — and simulation games — such as Woodturning — saw the highest growth quarter-over-quarter. Free-to-play social simulation game Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp continues to be a strong driver, while PUBG Mobile topped usage in the action category.

Weekly game downloads hit a world record high of 1.2 billion, the impact occurring in phases as governments and businesses enacted stay-at-home orders. This year, users downloaded 30 percent more mobile games in April — the latter phase of lockdown — than in January. March saw the largest increase at 35 percent.

Real-time multiplayer games, which provide an experience where users can connect with others via their phones, emerged as a huge driver, taking four of the five top game slots in the App Store and Google Play. Among them were battle royale title Game for Peace and strategy battle game Rise of Kingdoms. Games that use hybrid casino and core mechanics, such as Coinmaster, also saw a surge in consumer spending.

Casual gamers, defined as those who play less than 15 hours a week, comprised 54 percent of mobile gamers in the third quarter of 2019. Meanwhile, hard-core gamers, defined as those who play for at least 15 hours a week and engage in genres such as battle royale, multiplayer online battle arena, fighting, racing, shooting, sports and strategy, made up 38 percent. 

Looking ahead, mobile gaming — which first overtook PC and Mac gaming for the highest consumer spend figures in 2014 — is on a path to becoming the world's preferred method gaming, set to extend its global lead to 2.8 times PC and Mac gaming, and 3.1 times home consoles in 2020.

Overall gaming growth will be further propelled by the launch of the Playstation 5, releasing this summer, and the Xbox Series X, also slated to drop in the holiday season.