Mobile game revenue and downloads surged in 2020, as the global COVID-19 pandemic caused global consumers to seek new entertainment options with limited social activities. But these are just headlines.Induction tower The State of Mobile Gaming in 2021 The report carefully examines which countries, regions, and types of growth have the most significant growth, how new trends such as subscriptions affect player spending, and which markets will grow the fastest in the next few years.

market share

Since 2017, the US has steadily improved its position in consumer spending on mobile games relative to other countries, surpassing Japan in 2019 to become the world’s largest market for this indicator. The United States’ share of global gaming consumer spending reached a record high of 28% last year. This is higher than Japan’s 22% and China’s 18%. The global market share of mobile game revenue in these two countries has declined in the past four years. However, it should be pointed out that Sensor Tower’s estimate for China includes App Store revenue, but does not include third-party Android market revenue.

Market share of countries with the highest spending on mobile games from 2017 to 2020

In the past few years, the market share of countries outside the top five has grown steadily, which shows that mobile game publishers have shifted to less developed markets with higher growth potential.

Download driver

In terms of mobile game downloads, since 2017, India has become the only country that has accounted for more than 10% of global game installations and 12% of all downloads, or 9.7 billion times. Followed by the United States, which accounted for 7% of all downloads, Brazil accounted for 6%.

Market share of countries/regions with the highest downloads of mobile games from 2017 to 2020

Although 77% of mobile game revenue in 2020 is concentrated in the five largest markets, the top five countries with downloads only account for 32% of total installs. This shows that in most markets, getting users to spend in mobile games is still more challenging than adopting new users.

Rising area

By 2023, the global mobile gaming market is expected to reach US$117 billion in player spending through the App Store and Google Play. Southeast Asia is expected to be the fastest-growing region, with revenue growth of 88% between 2020 and 2023. At the same time, Europe is expecting a 76% increase in player spending over the same period.

Revenue growth of mobile games in various regions from 2020 to 2023

Although revenue growth in North America will be similar compared to the global average, mature game markets such as China and Japan will see a significant slowdown in growth in the next three years (excluding the aforementioned Southeast Asia region).


Subscription has always been the main driver of non-gaming application revenue, and business models are increasingly entering the game field. In 2020, 29% of U.S. App Store revenue top mobile games used subscription services, compared with 9% in 2017.

Subscription share of top 100 games in U.S. App Store revenue in 2020

Games that use this monetization option include Rob Rox From Roblox Company, racial conflict From Supercell, with PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds mobile version From TencentAlthough subscriptions are not the main in-app purchase for most of these games, they will promote a freemium model if implemented correctly.

For more analysis of the mobile gaming industry in 2020 and the first quarter of 2021, as well as a deeper understanding of advertising trends and market forecasts, you can download the full report in the following PDF format:

Download Sensor Tower’s 2021 State of Mobile Gaming Report


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