According to the Gaming Spotlight, 2017 Review, a special joint report released by App Annie, a leading mobile app data and insights company, and International Data Corporation (IDC), Direct spending on mobile games exceeded the combined spending total on home console, PC/Mac, and handheld games by more than one third in 2017, up from a single-digit margin by the same measure in 2016.
Games also generated nearly 80% of total worldwide consumer spend for combined iOS and Google Play, while accounting for roughly 35% of worldwide downloads.
The top two grossing games worldwide on both iOS and Google Play in 2017 featured live PvP gameplay, demonstrating that hardcore-leaning multiplayer elements aren’t just possible on mobile devices, but have already proven popular and lucrative.
Games like Honour of Kings (published by Tencent and known as Arena of Valor in Western markets), Lineage 2 Revolution (Netmarble), Fantasy Westward Journey (NetEase), and Lineage M (NCSOFT) rose to the top of the mobile grossing charts, which show that live multiplayer games are an important trend in gaming that has clear esports implications.
2017 appears to have been the first year that three different live PvP titles took the top grossing slot on iOS, Google Play, and handheld game consoles (Pokémon Sun / Pokémon Moon, published by The Pokémon Company and Nintendo for Nintendo 3DS/2DS, was the top grossing handheld title last year, and features live PvP battles).
An IDC survey of U.S. gamers from 3Q 2017 showed that a lower share of smartphone and handheld console gamers played live PvP or co-op titles (34%) than did PC/Mac and home console gamers (over 44%).
Live PvP or co-op gamers in the U.S. were more likely to have spent money on a smartphone or handheld console game in 3Q 2017, moreover, and were more likely to play associated titles for at least five hours a week.
Rapid growth in a few key markets, most notably China, Japan, and South Korea, helped fuel mobile gaming’s ascent in 2017.
All regions saw an increase in mobile game spending last year, but over 60% of mobile game spending occurred in Asia-Pacific – and this region gained share of spending relative to 2016.
With Battle Royale Games like PUBG: Exhilarating Battlefield, and PUBG: Army Attack becoming increasingly popular on mobile devices, this live multiplayer gameplay mode should also impact on mobile gaming in 2018, particularly in Asia-Pacific.
For a copy of the full report, visit: appannie.com/en/insights/market-data/IDC-mobile-gaming-report-2017