How Many People Play Mobile Games in 2020 – Everything You Need To Know

Today we live in the Golden Age of Gaming.

Enjoying a game has never been easier!

Game developers don’t hold back because smartphones grow in power quickly.

Epic, right?

And a bit overwhelming, maybe.

For a lot of people today, free time equals gaming time.

In that spirit, we have a two-part question for you:

First: Do you know how many people play mobile games?

And second: How much do you know about mobile gaming demographics?

(Spoiler alert: female gamers statistics may surprise you!)

I suggest we look at some numbers from 2018 first and then we’ll talk more:

Impressive, I know!

How about you? Are you a passionate mobile gamer?

Mobile gaming stats say there is a good chance that you are, regardless of your education, gender, age, or social status.

Well, some of us play mobile games, others read fantasy novels. The outcome is practically the same – you escape to a world of your own and spend some peaceful time there. Or just shoot stuff dead for stress relief or fun.

In general, we rarely let our gaming apps collect dust on our phones’ shelves, do we?

And why would we?

Gaming is just great!

Games, in general, have influenced our society positively in different ways. Gaming makes us more competitive, and better problem-solvers. It enhances critical thinking, and it helps us make friends with similar interests.  

Mobile gaming has contributed greatly not only to the gaming industry but to our daily lives.

You’ll see.

Now, let’s get back to our numbers and get crazy.

Mobile Gaming and Demographics

What will the numbers say when we dig deeper into mobile gaming gender distribution?

Who enjoys gaming more, nowadays?

Women or men?

Teens or adults?

Is gaming addiction a “prerogative” of male gamers or does it afflict women as well?

Let’s start with the most popular titles and see who enjoys them the most.

What Are the Most Popular Mobile Games in 2020?

So, what do mobile gamers play in 2020?

Let’s take a look.

1. PUGB Mobile had the highest mobile game revenue for May 2020.

(Source: Sensor Tower)

In January 2020, the PUGB Mobile game grossed total revenue of $176.3 million. In February 2020, its total revenue was $191.6 million. By the end of March 2020, PUGB recorded a total of $232 million for the month. In April and May 2020, the app grossed over $225.2 million and $226 million, respectively. All these while it maintained its status as the top mobile game with the highest revenue for the year.

2. The most downloaded mobile game in May 2020 is ASMR Slicing.

(Source: Sensor Tower)

In January, the most downloaded mobile game was Johnny Trigger, with over 44.5 million downloads worldwide. In February, Woodturning 3D from Voodoo claimed this spot by grossing over 34 million downloads worldwide. By March, a new champion had emerged, “Slap Kings.” The game grossed a total of 35.6 million downloads for March. In April, “Save The Girl,” a puzzle game, had the highest mobile downloads across all stores, with a total of 50.2 million downloads.

3. Casino and card games have the longest average time per session on mobile.

(Source: Udonis)

According to mobile game statistics for 2020, an average session of casino and card games takes 22 minutes. Other mobile genres take an average of 4 minutes 30 seconds per session. The genres with the least time per session are racing, arcade, and sports.

4. Casual mobile games have the highest percentage of players.

(Source: Udonis)

Casual mobile games have a share of 58.86% of all mobile game players, according to mobile game genre statistics. Puzzle, arcade, and action mobile games have 56.5%, 55.08%, and 34.19%, respectively. Some examples of casual mobile games are Super Mario, Smash hit, Two Dots, and Reigns.

Mobile Gaming Facts for 2020

The list is endless.

When it comes to women in mobile gaming, things are getting quite exciting nowadays.

Here we go.

5. In 2020, there are 2.51 billion mobile gamers worldwide.

(Source: Statista)

And over 56% of them play 10 or more times a week. Hm… I wonder how many times you played a mobile game this week?

Care to share in a comment below?

6. Worldwide, there are more than 2.4 billion mobile gamers in 2020.

(Source: Medium)

The world population in 2020 is 7.8 billion. Mobile gaming industry size reports show that a whopping 2.4 billion are mobile game players – that is about 30.7% of the world’s population! 

Statistics show that the modern-day gamer is clinically healthy, civically engaged, educated, and socially active. What’s more, the increasing number of smartphone users ensures that the mobile games industry continues to receive massive amounts of attention from game developers worldwide.

7. The global games market in 2020 will generate revenue of $159.3 billion.

(Source: New Zoo)

According to mobile game profit statistics, in 2019, the video games industry recorded a revenue of $120.1 billion, up from the $115.5 billion recorded in 2018. Reports have it that mobile gaming had a market share of $64.4 billion, PC gaming accounted for $29.6 billion, and console gaming claimed $15.4 billion. 

However, in 2020, with the expected new releases console and PC gaming could experience a rise in value up to $45.2 billion, and $36.9 billion respectively. This would result in a slight decrease in mobile gaming revenue market share.

8. Mobile games will generate revenue of $77.2 billion in 2020.

(Source: New Zoo)

According to mobile game statistics, in 2019, the mobile game industry had total revenue of $64.4 billion, representing a 10% YoY increase from 2018. The coronavirus has kept many at home, and inadvertently increased the amount of idle time. This has subsequently led to increased activity of mobile gamers. As such, the industry is expected to experience a 13.3% YoY growth from 2019. 

What’s more, mobile game revenue statistics report that mobile games revenue will represent roughly 50% of the total global gaming revenue in 2020. 

9. The US mobile games industry will generate a revenue of $10.73 billion in 2020.

(Source: Statista)

The US remains the largest gaming market after China, and both maintain the same stand in the mobile gaming industry. US mobile game market researches reveal that in 2019, the total revenue of America’s mobile gaming market was $9.9 billion, a figure that could rise to $11.19 billion by 2024, with a CAGR of 1.3%

10. China remains the most significant mobile games market in 2020 with a revenue of $21.25 billion.

(Source: Statista)

In 2017, the Chinese mobile games industry recorded a revenue of over $14.9 billion. By 2019, it had already gone beyond $18 billion, showing a CAGR of 16.5%. This can be attributed to the constant technological advancements in mobile devices. It is further aided by the fact that 82% of all Chinese gamers prefer to play games on their smartphones. 

11. The number of mobile gamers in China will exceed 600 million in 2020.

(Source: Statista)

According to mobile gaming demographics for 2020, within the first half of 2020, China has already grossed over 604 million gamers. At the same, the country’s mobile gaming industry had already hit $15.6 billion in revenue. This shows that the industry is well on course to achieve all of its predicted landmarks for the year.

12. 30% of all mobile gamers worldwide play daily.

(Source: App Lovin)

You would agree with the fact that we are spending quite a lot of time on our mobile phones. Experts have asserted that an average human spends at 3.7 hours on their phone daily in 2020.

The convenience provided by mobile phones makes mobile gaming more attractive at any point in time. Regardless of their location or current activity, gamers are always interacting with their favorite games daily.

Highest Grossing Mobile Games by Revenue 

Okay, now that we have a general idea about the gamers, let’s check out what are their fav games.

NameOperating System (OS)Total Revenue ($)
Monster StrikeiOS and Android8.12 Billion
Puzzle And DragonsiOS and Android7.70 Billion
Honor of Kings/Arena of ValoriOS and Android6.75 Billion
Clash of ClansiOS and Android6.40 Billion
Candy Crush SagaiOS and Android5.41 Billion

Mobile Gaming Demographics Statistics

So, we have an idea about how many people play mobile games.

Still, what is their profile?

You may be surprised, but…

13. 63% of all mobile gamers are women.

(Source: Highsnobiety)

OK, we started strong!

Female gamers in 2018 definitely outnumber their male counterparts!

The biggest mobile game consumers in 2019 are women. They also prefer mobile games over online platforms and consoles, which are still the first choice of 38% of men.

14. In 2017, 69% of match-3 games were played by women.

(Source: Quantic Foundry)

Match-3 games (3-in-a-row games – puzzle games)  are generally a favorite among the female audience. Mobile game makers have provided plenty of options.

There are so many examples of a free game for women these days. Candy Crush Saga, Angry Birds Match, and Jelly Splash are just some of the best known match-3 games.

How about all the endless runner mobile games like Subway Surfers and Temple Run? So many options, so little time…

Actually, there are many different types of games women play.

15. In 2018, 28% of iOS Fortnite gamers were female.

(Source: Business of Apps)

In 2008, research among adolescents revealed that girls preferred creative games and puzzles.  Strategic and fighting games, however, were mostly reserved for boys.

But today, almost a third of all players in one of the most popular games worldwide (Fortnite) are women. For a last-man-standing shooter game, that is rather surprising.

Yes, the female audience, in general, prefers mobile games that are less violent. Then there are enthusiasts that will tip the scales in the near future.  

Ah, how times change.

16. In March 2019, there were 250 million Fortnite players.  

(Source: Business of Apps)

Now imagine that one-third of mobile players are female… Ouch!

How about other games?

I think we can all agree that Candy Crush Saga players reached a notable level of madness, since the release in 2012. 

17. In 2018, 58% of Candy Crush Saga players were female.

(Source: DMR)

Girl gamers for the win!

Soda crush!

Candy Crush Saga is one of the most popular and best-loved games. Not to mention it is the most downloaded mobile game for iOS.

For some reason, people loved that puzzle and in April 2019 it already has more than 4,430 levels. In 2018, Candy Crush Saga reached 140 million downloads.

Did you know:

The revenue of Candy Crush Saga for 2018 was $1.5 billion while Fortnite made $2.4 billion.

18. 65% of U.S. women ages 10-65 play mobile games.

(Source: Game Analytics)

OK, we can already say with certainty that yes, women are playing a lot more than they used to. Interestingly enough, the girls that grew up with a smartphone glued to their hands are NOT the main audience.

19. In 2018, the average age of a female gamer was 36 years. For male gamers, it was 32 years.

(Source: Mediakix)   

The female audience is growing rapidly, as well as the average time we spend gaming per week. (I am dreaming of a Candy Crush gaming session on the beach already – leave swimming to the n00bs!)

20. Women mobile gamers are 79% more likely to make an in-app purchase.

(Source: Venturebeat)

Mobile gaming is not only super easy to manage – it saves money as well. There are so many free or super cheap games, and the beautiful thing is you don’t need to buy an additional device to play them. All you need is your smartphone.

It is not a crime after all if you want to buy some additional features (some virtual currency, or lives, or diamonds – whatever it is).

21. Only 27.8% of the gaming industry is female.

(Source: Business of Apps)

While women are increasing their gaming time at an ever-growing rate, the industry hasn’t adapted to the female customers yet.

Soon enough, gaming companies will embrace the demographics and start developing games specifically for women.

Now that we’ve harped on the topic of female gamers enough, let’s look at the general tendencies in gaming.

Mobile Gaming Revenue

How about we look at the bigger picture for a moment?

22. In 2018, 46% of all mobile gamers spent money on games.

(Source: Newzoo)

619.5 billion of them are in China.

Keep those numbers in mind when you go to the next one.

23. In the US, the ratio of male to female gamers in 2018 is 11:9, or 55% to 45%.

(Source: Statista)

According to statistics, women also play more frequently than men – 43% of female players play mobile games five days a week or more, compared to 38% of men.

24. Mobile games generated $40.6 billion in revenue in 2017.

(Source: Statista)

Smartphones account for the lion’s share of this revenue – 80%, against 20% from tablets.

In 2018, mobile gaming accounts for more than 50% of the global games market, which is at $137.9 billion. That number is expected to reach $180 billion in 2021.

25. Almost 70% of Americans, or roughly 210 million people, play games on at least one type of mobile device. 90% of those play games on their smartphones.

(Source: Variety)

Mobile gaming has given everyone a chance to play. Desktop gaming is great, but it’s not exactly convenient in today’s world. With mobile, there are almost no restrictions.

The crew of the International Space Station plays mobile games too!

It makes you wonder who are the real space invaders.

26. In 2019, mobile gamers in the US are 209.5 million.

(Source: Statista)

For 2020 this number is expected to reach 213 billion. According to a 2016 research, 88% of people play mobile games in their leisure time (and 30% on the toilet…).

It’s time we moved our mind’s eye to the Far East.

27. In 2017, 66% of all mobile gamers in China were female. Women aged 21-35 accounted for 23% of Chinese female gamers.

(Source: Newzoo)

In comparison – 53% of desktop gamers in China are female.

China is the #1 country in the games market with $37.9 billion in revenue and 619.5 million players in 2018.

In the spirit of leaving no stone unturned:

28The share of mobile out of the total gaming revenue will grow from 18% in 2012 to 59% in 2021.

(Source: Statista)

According to stats for the US, women play 58% of mobile games and 36% of desktop games. Women are definitely “in” on the latest game-playing trends.

As Lady Galadriel said: “The world is changing.”

Now, let’s see what the future of gaming has to offer.

Latest Trends and Forecasts

Gaming apps are the most popular apps, no doubt.

They are affordable, interactive, relaxing (well, some of them are), easy to manage, there is a great variety to choose from, and they are a perfect pastime. I could add they are also addictive, but let’s not look under that rock.

They are like sirens – they lure you in and you can’t resist.

They are safe to use as well – no one has ever received a Darwin Award for falling from a cliff in the woods playing mobile games.

Yet.

I checked!

Bottom line: unlike taking selfies, mobile gaming is not life-threatening!

Actually, that’s true for almost all games – there’s an exception as you’ll soon find out….

Now:

2020 promises to be a great year in the world of gaming.

Oh, yes. We have lots to look for in the near future:

29. The expected number of mobile gamers in 2021 is 2.7 billion.

(Source: Statista)

With phones being cheaper and more powerful than ever, mobile gaming will continue to spread.

30. The expected number of desktop gamers for 2021 is 1.4 billion.

(Source: Statista)

Earth’s population grows so rapidly and it’s only natural for the number of gamers to increase in the future years. Not unless a very cool new gadget gets invented and catches on (fingers crossed for time machines!)

Talking of fancy gadgets:

31. According to mobile game revenue statistics, in 2020 smartphones will contribute 41% of the total gaming revenue.

(Source: Statista)

Mobile gaming has overtaken the gaming market – the number of gamers in the world is mind-blowing.

Many mobile gamers are still casual, whereas most desktop gamers consider themselves serious about their gaming. However, the newest hits in mobile gaming prove that a third of the female audience has started to play even shooters.

Alright, we talked a lot about mobile games. How about we have a look at the companies developing them?

Top Mobile Gaming Companies

Let’s make a list of some of the most famous companies and the games they designed.

King

They created Candy Crush Saga and all its spinoffs (e.g. Candy Crush Soda, Candy Crush Jelly). Well done, King!

Microsoft Studios

The Swedish video game developer Mojang created Minecraft Pocket Edition in 2011 and Subway Surfers in 2012. In November 2014, Mojang became part of Microsoft Studios.

Electronic Arts

They own FIFA, The Sims, Need For Speed, Battlefield, Mass Effect, and Titanfall. But did you know they also own the unforgettable mobile classic Plants vs. Zombies? It was initially developed in 2009 by PopCap games, which was eventually acquired by Electronic Arts in July 2011.

Epic Games

Who were those guys? Only the creators of Fortnite. The mobile version of the game was released in 2018, and currently, the game makes $1.5 million per day.

Now, let’s move on to some future trends.

Future Trends in Mobile Gaming

Even though predicting the future is a tricky business, it is certain that advances like Samsung Galaxy Fold will bring about new, exciting gaming opportunities.

Cloud Gaming

Cloud gaming is one of the greatest innovations in the field of mobile gaming.

You can just open the game on the cloud and start playing it on your phone. You don’t need to download it to your phone.

Now, you can stream any game you want at any time. You can play on any screen, and you get to choose from a great variety of games. It’s also a safe place for kids.

Splendid, I know!

Gaming Companies Are Expanding Their Store to Mobile

Since the unheard of success of Fortnite Battle Royal in 2018, game developers are now taking mobile gaming more seriously. The developers of Fortnite, Epic Games, released their own online store to compete with Steam.

Because of the cloud, we can expect more online gaming in the future. It will remove the need for extra storage.

But wait, there’s more exciting news coming.

Game Stadia

It is simple:

They call it Netflix for games.

Simple but amazing!

In 2019, Google announced they intend to release a new gaming platform, which will bring gamers and developers together. Streaming games online will enable gamers to choose a game and start playing it in just a couple of minutes on any device – desktop, laptop, smartphone, TV, tablet – anywhere.

We have nothing to worry about. The future of gaming is ridiculously bright!

Surprising Mobile Gaming Facts

OK, we all know that when something becomes as popular as mobile games, weird things start happening. Suddenly, there are overhyped game zealots everywhere, and even celebrities get caught up and share the buzz.

Here comes our selection of surprising facts for today.

Subway Surfers Was the 1st Game to Get More Than 1 Billion Downloads in Google Play Store.

The game was initially released in 2012, and it was an immediate success. It was the first game in history to surpass the threshold of one billion downloads for Android. For comparison, we can add that the most downloaded app in Google Play Store in 2018 was the Facebook app with 4.119 billion downloads so far.

Bejeweled-Inspired

Candy Crush Saga developers were initially greatly inspired by the game Bejeweled. The company once offered to sell the franchise to Microsoft for $50,000. Eventually, 10 years later, Electronic Arts bought Bejeweled for $1.3 billion.

Good business, eh?

Let’s exit the realm of peaches and cream and take a look at the side of mobile gaming we don’t hear about often.

Pokemon Go accidents

Since the release of the game in 2016, walking about around town just wasn’t the same anymore. The game presented us with a challenge or two… and somewhere along the way things got out of control.

A man actually did fall off a cliff while battling for a vyed addition to his collection.

(No Darwin Award, though!)

Collecting monsters while driving?

In 2017, the game may have contributed to 150,000 car accidents and 250 deaths in the US.

Anyway, let’s finish on a more cheerful note.

Did you know:

Activision Blizzard Announced the Release of Call of Duty: Mobile

In March 2019, the creators of Diablo Immortal announced the upcoming release of Call of Duty: Mobile – a free to play FPS. The game will launch this summer.

Now, we already mentioned that one-third of Fortnite mobile gamers are women. Perhaps Call of Duty will be the next target of the female audience.

Wrapping Up

No one is stealing the thunder away from mobile gaming apps any time soon.

Many mobile games don’t require any special skills AND they help us let some steam off.

They are fun, and easy, and challenging, and addictive. (Yes, I said it!)

According to mobile video game gender statistics, women now represent more than half of mobile gamers worldwide. They play as a means of stress relief, entertainment, and to just pass the time.

I think in 2019 it is safe to say that mobile gaming and mobile marketing are on the rise and women are a lucrative audience for both mobile developers and marketers.

Do you remember the percentage of female gamers is 2018?

It’s 63% and statistics predict a rise in the future. This will tie in nicely with the further development of smartphone technology.

Women are already a valuable target group and the spotlight will soon fall on them and their preferences.

Now you know how many people play mobile games, and if you go to a party and everyone starts talking about mobile gaming demographics – the microphone will be yours for the evening!

I mean, there are a couple more things to say about the demographics, but I already itch to check my Fortnite aim and will wrap it up here.

Have fun with your favorite mobile games, everyone!

 

FAQ

What percentage of people play mobile games?

88.9%  of all gamers is how many people play mobile games.

There are 2.7 billion gamers worldwide in 2020, of which 2.4 billion are mobile game players. 

Which is the No 1 mobile game in the world?

PUBG Mobile is the highest-grossing game by revenue for 2020, with over $226 million in revenue.

What are the most popular mobile games in 2020?

These are the more popular mobile games in 2020:

  • PUBG MOBILE
  • Call of Duty: Mobile – Garena
  • Minecraft
  • Clash Of Clans
  • Free Fire

ABOUT AUTHOR

I am a proud Ravenclaw and a fan of Stephen King (seriously, one of my dreams is to write something that the King will read. Plan B is to get invited to his house and have a coffee with him and his wife. Never mind!) I enjoy being a part of an awesome team of tech writers and we are having a ball writing our techie articles. Currently, I am finishing my second master’s degree, at Vrije University, Brussels (Linguistics and Literature!) What else? Oh yeah, and I am a fan of progressive metal... and progressive technologies like AI and deep learning.

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