Mobile games made up 60% of revenue for the global video game market in 2019, generating $49 billion in revenue and a profit of $16.9 billion, a study by GoldenCasinoNews.com found. The mobile gaming market is forecast to grow 2.9% annually to hit $56.6 billion by 2024, per the research.
The number of mobile gamers was 1.36 billion worldwide last year, with 36% of mobile gamers between the ages of 25 and 36. The percentage of users who play mobile games will rise to 22.5% by 2024 — more than 1.7 billion people worldwide — up 18.6% last year.
China was the biggest market for mobile games in 2019 with $18 billion in revenue, followed by the U.S. at $9.9 billion and Japan at $6.5 billion. The global gaming market, including mobile games, will grow from $83 billion last year to $95.3 billion by 2024, according to the GoldenCasinoNews.com research.
Mobile platforms have become the most significant segment of the video game industry as smartphones expand the gaming market beyond consoles and personal computers. As GoldenCasinoNews.com’s research indicates, mobile’s role in the broader gaming industry will continue to expand over the next few years amid a shift toward more sophisticated gaming apps on mobile devices.
A separate study by Sensor Tower found that mobile games were especially popular during the holidays, with consumer spending rising 8% to $210 million on Christmas Day.
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Mobile platforms have driven growth in “hyper casual” games that appeal to people who don’t consider themselves hardcore gamers. The number of hyper casual games surged 170% in 2019 from a year earlier, more than three times the gaming industry average, while downloads jumped 150%, according to an AppsFlyer study.
The growing popularity of free mobile games funded by in-game advertising can help marketers reach consumers in a brand-safe environment. The percentage of free-to-play mobile games with this type of advertising grew to 94% last year from 87% in 2018 as more developers sold ad space to monetize their content, per a study by game marketing firm deltaDNA. Rewarded video ads, which unlock game content in exchange for watching an ad, were the most popular ad category as deployment rates rose to 82% of games in 2019 from 65% a year earlier, per deltaDNA.