Mobile is still the dominant way people play games, finds study

06th September 2023
Mobile is still the dominant way people play games, finds study

Singapore/ San Francisco, September 6, 2023 -, the leading mobile data analytics provider, in partnership with IDC  has released the Gaming Spotlight 2023 report. The report reveals that despite a softening in direct consumer gaming spend overall, mobile is still the largest market opportunity for games.
The report reveals that while mobile gaming is expected to see a slight decrease in spend (-2% year-over-year), the platform is still set to surpass $108 billion worldwide in 2023 — maintaining its lead of 2.7x over PC/Mac, cementing mobile as a critical driver for growth in the sector.
The report also found that home console and PC/Mac game spending should increase by 3% (to $43 billion) and 4% (to $40 billion) worldwide, respectively, in 2023 versus 2022. Handheld console game spending is on track to decline 20% this year to less than $3 billion.
The report also revealed new opportunities for publishers as mobile continues to democratise gaming: 

  • APAC saw the most significant growth in market share for global consumer spend across Mobile, PC and Mac gaming: South Korea led APAC growth in Q1 2023, while Brazil, Turkey and Mexico led growth outside of Western Europe, North America and Asia Pacific. North America (driven by the US) and Western Europe comprised around half of mobile gaming spend in Q1 2023.
  • Cloud-Streamed Gaming (CSG) is making inroads on mobile: Across all platforms, global consumer spending on CSG services should reach $3.8 billion in 2023, up over 50% year over year.
  • Mobile games that defined H1 2023 were ranked in the top 10% for their Mobile Performance Scores (MPS): Monopoly GO (MPS: 99), Honkai: Star Rail (93), Royal Match (95), and FIFA Soccer (96) all saw success in H1 2023, signaling that publishers who capitalise on strong IP, market momentum and in-game events can succeed in a down market.
  • Genre preferences were varied on mobile: Eight distinct subgenres made up the top 10 grossing games on mobile, proof of mobile’s increasing acceptance as a primary gaming platform as well as its ability to capture new audiences. The break-out genres included Driving (Simulation), Team Battle (RPG) and Party Royale (Party).
  • Paid user acquisition: Match (45%), Casino (44%) and Tabletop games (38%) generated the largest share of downloads from paid channels in the US in 1Q 2023, marking competitive user acquisition.

“Mobile continues to level the playing field for gaming. Now more than ever, publishers can target consumers in niche areas, and many markets are primed for growth. The ‘new gamer’ is one of the most diverse and inclusive cohorts yet. Especially in a market that’s slowed by headwinds, having the right data is critical to staying ahead in this fast-changing landscape in order to streamline acquisition and optimise monetisation opportunities,” said Lexi Sydow, Head of Insights,
“While video ads dominate in mobile gaming, our research suggests that rewarded video ads are much more popular with gamers than are traditional video ads. Sentiment toward in-game mobile ads also appears to have deteriorated in the past two years, and the rollout of Apple’s ATT Framework has, at best, contributed modestly to this outcome. More than ever, the report suggests, game studios need to stay on top of the types of ads that are being served to which demographic groups to optimise campaign results,” said Lewis Ward, Research Director of Gaming, Esports and VR/AR, IDC.

Gaming Spotlight 2023 report here (registration required)