How Many People Play Mobile Games in 2021 – 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!)

Let’s look at some real numbers to show us how the industry is performing.

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 2021?

So, what do mobile gamers play in 2021?

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 December 2020 was Among Us.

(Source: Sensor Tower, 9to5mac)

The mobile gaming landscape is highly competitive, with a new winner emerging every month. 

Jonny Trigger was the most downloaded mobile game in January 2020, with 44.5+million downloads. The following month, Voodoo’s “Wood Turning 3D” snatched the victory with over 34 million downloads

By March, the conqueror was “Slap Kings,” with 35.6 million downloads. “Save the Girl” broke the record in March with 50.2 million downloads. By December, “Among Us,” a popular multiplayer game, was the overall winner with 48 million downloads

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

(Source: Udonis)

Casino and card games have an average session of 22 minutes. According to mobile game statistics for 2021, they’re only growing in popularity. 

Other genres had a median session time of 4 minutes and 30 seconds. Arcade, sports, and racing games had the shortest time per session.

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

(Source: Udonis)

According to mobile game genre statistics, 58.86% of mobile gamers prefer playing casual mobile games. Most notably puzzle and action had the following number respectively: 56.5%, 34.19%, and 55.08%. Examples of games in this category include Two Dots, Reign, Super Mario, and Smash Hit, just to mention a few.

Mobile Gaming Facts for 2021

The list is endless.

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

Here we go.

5. There are around 2.7 billion mobile gamers worldwide.

(Source: New Zoo)

The Earth’s population is 7.8 billion. Mobile games market size statistics show that of the world citizens, nearly 3 billion are avid phone game players. By the way, 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.

Now, here’s the exciting bit:

6. 56% of these gamers play ten or more times weekly.

How many times have you played a mobile game this week?

Care to share in a comment below?

7. More than 90% of millennials use smartphones for gaming rather than personal computers.

(Source: GlobeNewswire)

Nine out of ten millennials prefer to use their mobile devices to play games online instead of PCs.

Well, it’s easy to see why smartphones are more popular for games. Developers are also incorporating games into portable phones for easier accessibility.

8. Mobile games player penetration will be 53.3% by 2025.

(Source: Statista)

Mobile gaming is on a constant rise. Statistics show that by 2025, five out of 10 people will be mobile gamers. That will be roughly 6%, up from 2021’s figure of 46.8%.

9. In 2020 the mobile games market generated close to $160 billion.

(Source: New Zoo)

The mobile gaming industry brought in $159.3 billion in revenue in 2020. That is a $39.2 billion increase from the previous year and up to $43.8 billion compared to 2018’s income.

Reports also show that: 

  • mobile gaming had a market share of $64.4 billion
  • PC gaming accounted for $29.6 billion
  • console gaming made $15.4 billion.

10. The global mobile game revenue increased by 50% 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. 

In 2020, the coronavirus kept many at home. This subsequently led to increased activity of mobile gamers. As such, the industry experienced a 13.3% YoY growth from 2019. 

11. The United States earned $10.1 billion from mobile games in 2020.

(Source: Golden Casino News)

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% according to the US mobile game market.

12. China will be the biggest mobile game revenue generator in 2021.

(Source: Statista)

China does it again, ladies and gentlemen!

Predictions show that the country will generate $41.48 billion by Q4 of 2021 according to mobile gaming industry statistics. There’s a vast market in China for developers so long as they fit cultural norms and follow set guidelines.

13. China was the most significant mobile 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%. We can attribute this to the constant technological advancements in mobile devices in recent years. 

In addition, the fact that 82% of all Chinese gamers prefer to play games on their smartphones also helps. All in all, the country brought in double the earnings of the US in 2020. 

14. Chinese mobile gamers exceeded 600 million in 2020.

(Source: Statista)

According to the mobile gaming industry size for 2021 stats, within the first half of 2020, China had already grossed over 604 million gamers. At the same, the country’s mobile gaming industry had already hit $15.6 billion in revenue. It well on course to achieve all of its predicted landmarks for the year.

15. 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.

16. 29% of gamers in the US shifted to playing online with their friends in 2020.

(Source: Business Wire)

Almost 30% of mobile game players opted to play online as opposed to offline. With stringent restrictions regarding gatherings in most countries, it was only natural for players to crave human interaction. Hence, they spent more time on the internet playing games with others. 

17. The Candy Crash Saga generated $473 million in 2020.

(Source: Statista)

Candy Crush Saga has been bringing in the big bucks despite being in the field for over eight years. Between January and December 2020, the puzzle video game earned close to $500 million in player spending.  

18. Experts predict 1/20  market growth between 2020 to 2025.

(Source: GlobeNewswire)

Mobile game revenue statistics project an almost 0.05 Compound Annual Growth rate during the period of 2020 and 2025.

That shows that the gaming industry shows no signs of slowing down. Users spent 670+ billion hours entertaining themselves with various games. 

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.

Name Operating System (OS) Total Revenue ($)
PUBG Mobile iOS and Android 2.6 Billion
Honor of Kings iOS and Android 2.5 Billion
Pokemon Go iOS and Android 1.2 Billion
Roblox  iOS and Android 1.2 Billion
Coin Master iOS and Android 1.1 Billion

Source (Statista)

Mobile Gaming Demographics Statistics for 2021

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

Still, what is their profile?

You may be surprised, but…

19. 63% of all mobile gamers are women.

(Source: Highsnobiety)

OK, we started strong!

Female gamers definitely outnumber their male counterparts!

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

20. 41% of gamers in the US were women in 2020.

(Source: Statista)

Female gaming is on the rise, with nearly half the players in 2020. This was a considerable improvement compared to 2016 when ladies made only 35% of gamers in the country. 

21. In 2020, a third of gamers in the US are Asian, African-American, or Hispanic.

(Source: NewZoo)

33% of people who enjoyed playing games online in the United States were either African-American, Hispanic, or Asian. In the United Kingdom, 13% of gamers fell in minority groups as well. 

22. In 2020, 54% of players in the US felt that diversity in games was vital.

(Source: NewZoo)

Mobile gaming demographics show that half of the gamers in the United States want more inclusion in various games. The UK is no different, with 47% feeling that developers needed to create games with different ethnicities, genders, age groups, and other categories in 2020.  

23. 47% of gamers avoid playing a game if they feel the developer did not intend it for them.

(Source: NewZoo)

Game creators could be missing out on a lot of income for not being diverse. Nearly half of US and UK players won’t touch a game if they feel like it’s excluding them. The majority of players are open to playing games representing them in terms of race, gender, sexuality, or disability. 

24. 64% of Candy Crush Saga players in 2020 were female.

(Source: Statista)

The legendary game by Kings will keep you craving for more! It’s no wonder the majority of the ladies can’t get enough of it. 

According to female gamer statistics, nearly 3/4 of its players were women and only 36% were men. 

25. 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.

26. 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).

27. In 2020, 38% of mobile game players in the US fell between 18 to 34 years.

(Source: Statista)

According to mobile gaming demographics, the millennials took a more significant piece of the pie in video gaming. 35 to 55-year-olds took second place with 26%, while under 18s got the third position with 21%.

This will surprise you:

Age groups above 55 years love their gaming and collectively have made a quarter of the gaming population that same year. 

Mobile Gaming Revenue

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

28. Consumers in the US spent $1.02 billion in Q2 of 2020.

(Source: Statista)

During the first quarter of 2020, customers spent over $1 billion on gaming content. Hardware expenses were around $800 million, while accessories spending was $500+ million.

Unlike the last five decades, gamers are no longer bored teenage boys or unemployed men living with mommy. Today’s players are professionals that earn a living from it and aren’t shy to spend some good money-related products.

29. The ratio of male to female gamers in video game titles was 2:1 in 2020.

(Source: Wired)

Although women are catching up in this arena, there’s still some room for improvement. In 2020 during the Sony and Ubisoft events to announce championship winners, women made up 23% of winners, Men had a 77% representation. 

30. Mobile games are expected to reach $180 billion in revenue in 2021.

(Source: Statista)

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

In 2018, mobile gaming accounted for more than 50% of the global games market, which was at $137.9 billion

31. 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.

32. Mobile gaming sessions in India increased by 65% in 2020.

(Source: Mordor Intelligence)

India is a market that developers should keep an eye on because mobile gaming is spreading like wildfire over there! Sessions went up by nearly 70% in 2020. Organic app purchases also increased by half compared to the past year. 

33The 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:

2021 promises to be a great year in the world of gaming.

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

34. 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:

35. According to mobile game revenue statistics, in 2020 smartphones contributed 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.
  • A stranger stabbed a Pikachu hunter in the neck after he refused to give him $5 on 5th Feb 2020. 
  • On 31st Mar 2020, police stopped a man from Pokemon playing during the lockdown.

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

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 2021 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?

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 2021, 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, with over $226 million in revenue.

What were the most popular mobile games in 2020?

These were 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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