Key Mobile Gaming Statistics: How Many People Play in 2023?

Updated · May 20, 2023

We spend a lot of time on our phones… playing games, apparently. Did you know that around 90% of all gamers are mobile gamers? You might think this was just a lockdown trend, but the captivating mobile gaming statistics that follow show otherwise.

It went from just a simple time killer to a worldwide phenomenon.

Join us as we take a look at the success story of mobile gaming, followed by all the current numbers and predictions you ought to know.

Moving Gaming Facts (Editor’s Choice):

  • In 2020, games accounted for more than 60% of App Store’s entire revenue.
  • Mobile games made for 78% of Google Play’s 2021 revenue.
  • In 2021, the mobile games market size was $89.6 billion.
  • 43% of all the time spent on smartphones goes to gaming.
  • 70% of all mobile gamers are female.
  • More than 2.5 billion people are mobile game players.
  • Women spend 25% more time playing mobile games than men.

Understanding the Mobile Gaming Industry

The best way to understand how mobile games are taking over the world is by examining its most fundamental and interesting statistics.

If you’ve dying to know more about the size of the mobile gaming industry or which is the most-played mobile game in the world in 2022, keep reading!

1. 43% of all smartphone usage is connected to gaming.

(Source: BlinkAI)

This means that all people worldwide spend 43% of their “smartphone time” playing a game. 

Just imagine, of all the things one can do on their phone, people still choose to put almost half of that time into gaming.

2. 78% of all downloaded mobile games in 2021 are casual games.

(Source: Influencer Marketing Hub)

Despite the fact that casual games do not bring the most cash, they are still the most popular all around the world.

This includes simpler entertainments like match three, puzzles, bubble shooters, and hidden object games. They are really easy to understand, yet addictive, which explains their huge popularity.

3. PUBG is still the most-played mobile game in the world.

(Source: Mirage Portal)

Although it came out in 2018, PlayerUnknown’s Battleground still reigns supreme in the mobile gaming world.

With over one billion downloads both on iOS and Android, the game’s popularity is almost impossible to beat.

According to Sensor Tower’s mobile gaming industry statistics, the game ranked first on App Store and seventh on Google Play in the most downloaded games in the 2021 competition.

When it comes to 2021 revenue, it was the sixth top-grossing game on Google Play and second on App Store, surpassed only by Honor of Kings.

4. Some of the other most-played mobile games are Genshin Impact, Roblox, and Subway Surfers.

(Source: Sensor Tower)

These three really stood out in 2021, comprising the top 10 mobile game lists for both Android and iOS.

Roblox came in third on App Store and eighth on Google Play. 

Although it’s a much older game, Subway Surfers still enjoys a huge player count. In 2021, it was the fourth most-downloaded iOS game and the third Android one.

Genshin Impact is part of the top games not because of its downloads but rather because of its high earnings. During the past year, it was the third top-grossing mobile game on both platforms.

5. Gamers spent 55% of their time playing core games in 2021.

(Source: Influencer Marketing Hub) 

Mobile game industry analysis also shows that adventure and role-playing games (RPG) are the most time-consuming.

Also known as core games on mobile, these are noticeably more advanced and tend to attract more male players.

Mobile Game Market Share Statistics

Mobile games have surely changed. What used to be a way of killing time, especially while waiting in lines, is now a worthy competitor to both PC and console gaming.

6. The 2021 mobile game market revenue was $89.6 million.

(Source: Sensor Tower) 

A remarkable increase from the previous year’s $79.6 billion!

It goes like this—the smartphones get stronger, the games get better, and the market becomes bigger. See the proof in the following mobile gaming industry statistics.

7. Core games have the biggest mobile game revenue by genre, with 66% of consumer spending.

(Source: Influencer Marketing Hub) 

When it comes to mobile gaming, the number of downloads and the consumer spend ratio is inversely proportional. Core games are much more attractive to paying customers in spite of their lower download numbers.

Only 23% of consumer spending goes to casual games. The remaining 11% go to casino games.

8. Google Play mobile games had 46.7 billion downloads in 2021.

(Source: Sensor Tower) 

Even though iOS users tend to spend more on games, things are not that dark for the Google competition. 

What’s more, 2022 mobile game statistics show that Google Play has significantly more downloads than App Store. So much so that gaming was by far the most popular category on Android devices.

At the end of 2021, Google boasted an impressive number of 46.7 billion downloads (with an increase of more than half a million from the previous year). 

As it turned out, in 2021, Apple’s users downloaded much fewer games in general. The number of App Store game downloads fell from 10.1 billion (in 2020) to 8.6 billion (in 2021).

9. 78% of all money spent on Google Play in 2021 went to mobile games.

(Source: Sensor Tower) 

This number was even higher in 2020—83%. That doesn’t mean that people spend less on mobile games, though.

It’s quite the contrary—the 2022 mobile game revenue is still growing. It’s just that other apps are seeing an even bigger boost in earnings.

10. In 2020, games accounted for more than 60% of the App Store’s entire revenue.

(Source: Udonis) 

If you ask Apple, 2020 was a great year for mobile gaming. 

Games comprised more than half of the entire App Store revenue for the whole year. By taking a look at the most recent mobile game revenue statistics, we can see that, luckily for Apple, this didn’t change much in 2021. 

11. The App Store took 58% of the mobile game revenue in 2021.

(Source: Sensor Tower) 

Thanks to the huge iOS presence of games such as Honor of Kings, Google’s marketplace is still behind, and Apple took more than half of all mobile gaming revenue in 2021. Still, both companies saw a rise in sales. App Store’s revenue grew by 9.9% in 2021, while Google Play’s went up by 16.6%.

Mobile Game Demographics Statistics

In the past, gaming was regarded primarily as a male activity. Men were dominating the market and were spending a much larger portion of their free time playing games.

Mobile games may just be the thing that changes this. Not only do people spend inordinate amounts of time staring at the screen, but the number of female players increases, as do the games designed for women, as well as the overall game accessibility.

Let us paint you a clearer picture with the next portion of interesting mobile gaming statistics.

12. Over 2,5 billion people are mobile gamers.

(Source: WePC) 

Are mobile gamers even gamers? That’s one of the most commonly asked questions that we consider simply rhetorical.

Mobile games have gained so much traction that they are becoming even more popular than others. There were around 2,659.5 billion mobile gamers in 2021—probably all of them would agree they are part of the gaming community. 

Curiously, Asia has the largest number of mobile gamers—close to 1.3 billion people. They are followed by Europe and only then by Latin and North America.

13. 2020 saw a 12% increase in mobile gamers than 2019.

(Source: Business of Apps) 

It’s almost as if a worldwide pandemic helped with this mobile gaming (and overall gaming) craze. As the lockdowns kept everyone at home, games became much more tempting. Just look at the player numbers, which are still rising at this very moment…

14. 70% of mobile gamers are female.

(Source: MMA) 

We told you women are taking over the gaming world, too. Just take a look at the 2022 mobile gaming demographics—even though 66% of all men also happen to be playing on mobile, too, women comprise 70% of all mobile gamers in the world.

15. Gaming sessions for women last 25% longer than those for men.

(Source: MMA)

Likewise, stats show that women tend to stick with fewer mobile games than men. They usually play a single game or two, while men tend to go from one to another.

It could also be that men switch between their phones and consoles. That would explain why the average female session is 25% longer.

Thanks to sites like Sensor Tower, we can predict what the future of mobile gaming might look like.

Besides, it’s relatively easy to make assumptions when numbers have been growing in the past couple of years.

16. By 2024, consumer spending on App Store games will be surpassed by spending on other mobile apps.

(Source: Sensor Tower) 

In 2020, App Store’s mobile game revenue was set at $48 billion, twice as much as the non-game mobile app revenue. Yet, even though games are constantly advancing, other apps might surpass them.

Mobile gaming growth stats suggest that non-game apps aren’t advancing that rapidly now but might in the future. 2024 could be the year when this actually happens, lifting games to $73 billion and other apps to $86 billion.

App Store’s 2025 non-game apps revenue may be around $107 billion while the game one is expected to reach $78 billion.

17. Consumer spending on Google Play games is estimated to come in at $60 billion in 2025.

(Source: Sensor Tower)

Games were always the biggest part of Google Play revenue. According to several mobile gaming statistics, this was true for the years passed and will probably continue to be in the future. 

However, non-game apps are getting more and more popular on the platform as well. The compound annual growth rate of their spending may even be 29.8%!

Predictions say that games, on the other hand, will only have a CAGR of 13.3%.

18. Games’ downloads have a predicted CAGR of 5.2% on App Store.

(Source: Sensor Tower)

Games are already a huge part of Google Play anyway, so their minor halt isn’t that surprising. On the other hand, App Store seems to be more popular for non-game apps.

By 2025, though, the CAGR for game downloads might be 5.2% and only 4.3% for apps. Predictions are that games will have 13 billion downloads while other apps will reach close to 30 billion. 

19. Google Play games are expected to have 66 billion downloads in 2025.

(Source: Sensor Tower)

Mobile games market size trends show Google Play mobile game downloads’ CAGR is to be 7.5%, while other app downloads will register a growth rate as big as 14.1%.

Predictions claim that there will be 66 billion game downloads and 121 billion non-game app downloads in 2025. 

Wrap Up

We’ve certainly come very far from Nokia Snake. Although we miss it a lot, mobile games are much more advanced and captivating right now. Just thinking about what they’ll look like makes us even more impatient to learn.

We are sure all these mobile gaming statistics convinced you—this market has just begun growing. That’s bound to encourage developers to release games far more complex than what we have now.

As always, all we can do is just wait and see what the future holds… and maybe play a game or two in the meantime.

Nick Galov
Nick Galov

Unaware that life beyond the internet exists, Nick is poking servers and control panels, playing with WordPress add-ons, and helping people get the hosting that suits them.