Gaming has been a crucial part of the mobile industry since the launch of the App Store in 2008. For seven years in a row, gaming apps have been used more than apps from any other category. Consequently, mobile gaming has truly shaped how we engage on our smartphones today. However, since 2015, gaming sessions have been on the decline. Does that indicate the end of the mobile gaming era?
Who are the heavy gamers?
The top 5 mobile gaming countries (United States, India, China, Brazil and Russia) are driving 50% of all global gaming sessions. While the United States, India, and China take the top positions for gaming sessions, other countries are also showing a growing percentage of gaming addicts. For example, the United States accounts for 20% of all gaming sessions globally, but only 13% of all U.S. app sessions are games.
But...Gaming Sessions Are Declining
For the second year in a row, gaming sessions are declining year-over-year. Three years ago, arcade, casual and brain games were driving 55% of all gaming sessions. Since then, Flurry has seen substantial declines in two of those categories: arcade and casual games. Arcade games, which accounted for 24% of all gaming sessions in 2014, decreased by 34%, and casual games by 50%.
While mobile gaming sessions have declined by 10% year-over-year, some categories continue to gain traction in usage. This year, card & casino apps reached a spot in the top three gaming categories. Sessions grew by 22% since 2014, and the category now accounts for 15% of all gaming sessions. Separately, the growth of smaller app categories is driving diversification for the industry. For example, board and strategy games grew 29% year-over-year from 2016 to 2017 and sessions are up 80% since 2014. This rise increased the category’s session share of all gaming apps from 1.6% to 4.0%.
Screen Size Does Matter
The bigger the screen, the greater the engagement.
Data source: Flurry.