On March 13, the analytical company App Annie summed up the results of the gaming industry over the past year. She posted a presentation online about the general state of affairs in the market. We have identified 8 main facts.

#1 Mobile segment is the largest and most important for the gaming market

In 2017, mobile games increased the box office gap from projects for desktops and consoles. Consumer spending on mobile games at the end of last year turned out to be 2.3 times more than on PC/Mac projects, and 3.6 times more than on all existing titles for consoles.

Moreover, App Annie stated that “direct spending on games for mobile devices exceeded the total spending on games for home consoles, PC/Mac and portable consoles by more than a third.”

Consumer spending on games, the whole world, by device, 2013-2017
It is unlikely that the situation will change significantly in the near future.

This means that mobile remains the main gaming market today.

#2 Games – the main thing that mobile stores earn today

Initially, there was such a situation in the mobile market that most of the money generated by the App Store and Google Play falls on games. This situation does not change from year to year, but in 2017, the share of user spending that falls on games decreased by several percent.

Games: Share in consumer spending in app stores
However, it remained at a very high level in relation to both stores.

Games on Google Play account for 80% of global user spending, and in the App Store – 75%. At the same time, spending on iOS games turned out to be twice as much as on Android titles.

#3 is the only gaming segment in which the bulk of revenue is generated by non–Asia consoles

The Asia-Pacific region accounts for the largest share of consumer spending on games on mobile (more than 60%), and on the market of portable consoles (about 50%), and on desktops (more than 50%).

In all these segments, the region’s shares continue to grow. The growth drivers are different. For example, mobile was provided, among other things, by an increase in Google Play turnover in South Korea (most likely, the release of as many as two IP Lineage games, very popular in Hanguk, made a significant contribution).

The share of regions in global consumer spending on games in 2017
Console games are so far the only segment in which 

The Asia-Pacific region acts as a catch-up.

The low performance of the Asia-Pacific region can be partly explained by the fact that until 2015, it was forbidden to sell game consoles in China, the largest country in the region. The market simply wasn’t formed.

#4 Highest Grossing Games for App Store, Google Play and Nintendo 3DS Made in Asia

Since the Asian market generates the largest part of the money in the mobile and portable markets, it is not surprising that the products from this region are also the most profitable. In a selection of three top–three box office gaming fives for 2017, there were only two projects made in the West – Clash Royale and Candy Crush Saga. All the others are Chinese, Japanese or Korean developments.

5 highest-grossing games for portable consoles and mobile devices, worldwide, by platform, 2017

Of the Top 5 highest-grossing games of the past year on iOS, Google Play and portable consoles, all but two had the publisher's main office located in the Asia-Pacific region. This once again confirms the high and steadily growing influence of the region (and not only in total costs, but also in gameplay innovations.

App Annie

#5 Two of the top five highest-grossing mobile games for the App Store and Google Play support real-time PvP

Real-time competitive mechanics and the ability to play with friends online are now no less important on smartphones and portable consoles than on PCs and set-top boxes. This can be judged based on the number of games with the support of these mechanics in the top box office tops.

In 2017, real-time PvP was present in the two highest-grossing games on both iOS and Google Play. This shows that hardcore multiplayer elements on mobile devices are not just possible, they have already become popular and generate revenue.

App Annie

In the top games for Nintendo 3DS, four out of five positions also fell on projects that either have PvP or co-op. The only game without it is the role–playing Japanese blockbuster Dragon Quest XI, which has so far been released only in Japan.

#6 The popularity of real-time PvP is growing on all gaming platforms in the USA

According to the App Annie survey, which the company conducted in the United States in the third quarter of last year, the updating of PvP and cooperative gameplay in real time is not only happening in mobile, where asynchronous user battles dominated until recently. This applies to almost all platforms. And it’s worth thanking esports, tournaments and influencers for this.

Monthly penetration rate of PvP or real-time cooperative gameplay in the United States, by major device types, from the 3rd quarter of 2015 to the 3rd quarter of 2018 (forecast)#7 Real-time PvP players are twice as likely to spend money than the rest

Real-time PvP or co-op games are more effective at monetizing users. According to the same survey, those gamers who prefer to have fun without PvP/co-op in real time are much less likely to leave money in the game.

Those who play in PvP or co-op mode in real time on smartphones are twice as likely to spend money on mobile games than those who do not play in PvP or co-op mode. Those who spend time on portable consoles spend money (in such games) more than three times more willingly.

App Annie

In general, the audience of PvP projects is younger and men predominate among them. They usually tend to spend more than five hours a week playing games on mobile/portable devices.

#8 Multiplayer mode “Battle Royale” – the main mobile trend in 2018

The main and, perhaps, the only forecast App Annie concerns  The “Battle Royale”. The company’s analysts believe that this mode will have a significant impact on mobile games this year. And first of all it will concern the Asia-Pacific region. Considering that according to the total world downloads of games of this genre in January-February in the leaders on the App Store and Google Play, this can be taken as a fait accompli.

Tencent’s mobile PUBG is now one of the most downloaded games of the past month
The full version of the App Annie study can be downloaded from the company’s blog page at this link.

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