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Insights into the 2024 Worldwide Mobile Gaming Market Exploring Trends

2024-03-14 

In 2023, the worldwide revenue from in-app purchases in mobile games hit $76.7 billion, a 2% drop from the previous year. This decrease was less steep than in 2022, and the revenue was still 22% more than in 2019.

The forecast for 2024 suggests a rebound in global mobile gaming revenue to $78 billion, and by 2028, it’s expected to exceed $100 billion, with an average yearly growth rate of approximately 6.8%.

The United States continued to lead as the top revenue contributor in the global mobile gaming market, generating a significant $22.2 billion in 2023, consistent with the previous year and projected to reach $33.5 billion by 2028.

China’s iOS mobile gaming market remained steady, with in-app purchase revenues hitting $15.1 billion in 2022, indicating a strong foundation for future growth in the Chinese market. On the other hand, Japan and South Korea saw reductions in their mobile gaming revenues in 2023. Japan experienced a 13% decrease to $12.5 billion, while South Korea’s revenues dropped by 7% to $4.8 billion.

Casual and hybrid casual games have seen considerable growth, with games like “MONOPOLY GO!” and “Egg Party” leading the way. Spending on casual mobile games has been increasing year after year, while the revenue share of mid-core to hardcore games has been gradually shrinking.

In 2023, global revenues from casual mobile games increased by 8% to $28.6 billion, making up 38% of the total mobile gaming revenue. Notably, the hybrid casual gaming segment stood out, with revenues skyrocketing by 30% to over $2.1 billion.

Card games and puzzle mobile games have also witnessed a surge in revenue. Prominent games like “MONOPOLY GO!” and “Royal Match” contributed to an 18% and 10% revenue growth in their respective categories, both reaching the $10 billion milestone.

RPGs and strategy games continue to be the top-earning categories in mobile gaming, generating $20 billion and $14.8 billion respectively in 2023. However, as the economic advantages of the stay-at-home trend during the pandemic start to wane, revenue from mid to hardcore mobile games such as RPGs, strategy, and shooter games has begun to decline.

The metaverse concept has begun to impact mobile gaming, with several developers incorporating virtual world experiences into their games. Companies like Meta and Epic Games are investing in the creation of more immersive and interconnected virtual spaces that are accessible via mobile devices. This trend is predicted to grow as technology progresses, potentially introducing a new revenue source within the mobile gaming sector.

Cloud gaming is also on the rise, with services like Xbox Cloud Gaming (previously known as Project xCloud) and NVIDIA’s GeForce NOW enabling mobile gamers to stream AAA titles directly to their devices. This could broaden the mobile gaming market to audiences who traditionally focus on console or PC gaming.

Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) mobile games are garnering increased attention due to advancements in mobile hardware technology. Games like “Pokémon GO” continue to perform well, and new AR titles are being developed to leverage this engagement model. While VR experiences are less prevalent on mobile due to hardware limitations, they are expected to grow with the introduction of more powerful and accessible mobile VR headsets.

Social features and multiplayer capabilities are becoming increasingly crucial in mobile games, as they foster community building and repeated engagement. Games that provide cooperative or competitive gameplay, along with social networking features, are witnessing higher retention rates and increased in-app purchases.

Mobile e-sports are gaining momentum, with competitive games like “Mobile Legends: Bang Bang” and “PUBG Mobile” at the forefront. Tournaments are drawing significant viewership and are becoming more advanced, with substantial prize pools and corporate sponsorships.

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