The reduction in total number of active mobile gamers was primarily driven by those who had previously not been active players reverting to their pre-pandemic habits as well as by those segments where shifts to greater out-of-the-home activity has significantly altered their level of device access.
PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y. (PRWEB) February 22, 2022
According to The NPD Group’s 2022 Mobile Gaming Report, 63% of Americans and Canadians played mobile games in 2021, totaling 228.7 million active mobile gamers across the two countries. This is a decline of 4% from 2020 but an increase of 6% from 2019.
Although there was a reduction in the total number of gamers year over year, active players were more invested in mobile gaming than ever before, with overall average weekly play time increasing 27%, and players contributing 16% more revenue than in 2020.
COVID-19 drove explosive growth in 2020 as U.S. and Canadian consumers sought more options to entertain themselves at home. The overall reduction in the total number of active gamers in 2021 was primarily driven by those who had previously not been active players reverting to their pre-pandemic habits as well as by those segments where shifts to greater out-of-the-home activity has significantly altered their level of device access.
On the other end of the investment spectrum, those who invested moderately to heavily before and/or during the pandemic have largely maintained or expanded their engagement, compensating for those who may have lapsed and bolstering the continued market growth.
“While there is still growth in the U.S. and Canadian mobile gaming market, it is beginning to normalize in the wake of peak pandemic restrictions. And as restrictions have eased, we’re seeing consumers downloading fewer new titles in favor of focusing their investment more heavily on titles they already are playing,” said Mat Piscatella, games industry analyst at The NPD Group. “Providing a variety of ways to engage with experiences both in shorter bursts while on-the-go and in longer sessions at home will help consumers maintain their engagement as their daily lifestyles continue to shift in the coming months.”
All but one mobile gaming genre saw revenue growth relative to their 2020 performance, with 54% of revenue being generated by the top three genres: skill & chance, puzzle, and strategy. Sports was the exception, down 4% when compared to 2020.
The report, done in collaboration with mobile app analytics firm Sensor Tower, examines the current state of the USA and Canadian mobile gaming market, including the gaming habits of current players ages 2 and older, and market performance trends.
Consumer Surveys: Unless otherwise noted, consumer data in this report comes from a survey of 5,000 active U.S. and Canadian mobile gamers (aged 2+), conducted in October 2021. Participants in this survey were recruited from two representative pools: Adults (respondents aged 18+) were recruited for participation directly and completed the survey based on their own habits; Children/teens (aged 2 – 17) were recruited via parent surrogates, with instructions to have the child/teen complete the survey themselves to the extent that they were able. Respondents qualified as active mobile gamers for the purpose of this study if they owned or had access to the following qualifying devices: iPhone, iPad, Android smartphone, Android tablet, Kindle Fire/Kindle Fire HD, Windows Tablet, or other smartphone or tablet.
Data on mobile gaming in the context of broader gaming and entertainment activities comes from NPD’s 2021 Evolution of Entertainment study, which included 5,000 U.S. consumers (aged 2+) and was conducted in June 2021. Mobile gaming revenue and other performance metrics were provided by Sensor Tower.
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About The NPD Group
NPD is a global market information company offering data, industry expertise, and prescriptive analytics to help our clients understand today’s retail landscape and prepare for the future. Over 2,000 companies worldwide rely on us to help them measure, predict, and improve performance across all channels, including brick-and-mortar, e-commerce, and B2B. We have services in 19 countries worldwide, with operations spanning the Americas, Europe, and APAC. Practice areas include apparel, appliances, automotive, beauty, books, B2B technology, consumer technology, e-commerce, fashion accessories, food consumption, foodservice, footwear, home, home improvement, juvenile products, media entertainment, mobile, office supplies, retail, sports, toys, and video games. For more information, visit npd.com. Follow us on Twitter: @npdgroup.