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Mobile Gaming - UK - February 2017

“Although growth in mobile gaming revenue is expected to continue in 2017, opportunities for developers to enter the market are limited without a significant marketing spend, or the perfect storm of novel but accessible gameplay and familiar IP that Pokémon Go had.”
– Mark Flowers, Consumer Technology Analyst

This report examines the following issues:

  • Mid-core games are the best at persuading mobile gamers to pay
  • Can mobile devices capture the core gaming audience and replace handheld consoles?

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Products covered in this Report
      • Executive Summary

          • The market
            • Revenue growth continues in the UK mobile gaming market
              • Figure 1: value of overall mobile apps and mobile games app sales and in-app purchases from the iOS App Store and the Google Play Store in the UK, 2013-16
            • Smart phone and tablet ownership static
              • Console ownership on a decline
                • Mobile gaming is a crowded market
                  • Core game developers are using established IPs to get into the mobile gaming market
                    • Factors in user retention
                      • Companies and brands
                        • Supercell launch Clash of Clans spinoff, Clash Royale
                          • Pokémon Go puts the ‘mobile’ in mobile gaming
                            • Nintendo brings its most famous IP to mobile devices with Super Mario Run
                              • Celebrities extend their brands in mobile games
                                • 2016 sees biggest mobile gaming championships to date
                                  • Four developers account for 89% of marketing spend on mobile games
                                    • Figure 2: Total above-the line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on mobile games, 01/01/2016-01/01/2017
                                  • TV accounts for 92% of mobile game marketing spend on traditional channels
                                    • Figure 3: Total above-the line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on mobile games, 01/01/2016-01/01/2017
                                  • The consumer
                                    • 45% of mobile device users play mobile games more than once per week
                                      • Figure 4: Mobile gaming frequency, October 2016
                                    • Puzzle games the most popular genre of mobile game by far
                                      • Figure 5: Genres of mobile game played, October 2016
                                    • Mid-core games hit the right balance between broad appeal and monetisation
                                      • Figure 6: Spending on mobile games by players of a genre, October 2016
                                    • Four out of five female players do not spend money on any genre of mobile game
                                      • Volume of players makes up for low download-to-spend ratio in casual genres
                                        • No ‘catch-all’ way to motivate players to make in-app purchases
                                          • Figure 7: Reasons for making in-app purchases in mobile games, October 2016
                                        • Mobile gaming sessions are often longer than 10 minutes
                                          • Six in 10 players want simplicity from their mobile games
                                            • Figure 8: Attitudes to mobile games and mobile gaming, October 2016
                                          • Attitudes of mobile gamers interested in core games on mobile devices
                                            • Figure 9: Attitudes towards mobile gaming, by attitudes towards mobile gaming, October 2016
                                          • What we think
                                          • Issues and Insights

                                            • Mid-core games are the best at persuading mobile gamers to pay
                                              • The facts
                                                • The implications
                                                  • Can mobile devices capture the core gaming audience and replace handheld consoles?
                                                    • The facts
                                                      • The implications
                                                      • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                                        • Revenue growth continues in the UK mobile gaming market
                                                          • Smart phone and tablet ownership static
                                                            • Console ownership on a decline
                                                              • Mobile gaming is a crowded market
                                                                • Core game developers are using established IPs to get into the mobile gaming market
                                                                  • Factors in user retention
                                                                  • Market Size

                                                                    • Revenue growth continues in the UK mobile gaming market
                                                                      • Figure 10: value of overall mobile apps and mobile games app sales and in-app purchases from the iOS App Store and the Google Play Store in the UK, 2013-16
                                                                  • Market Drivers

                                                                    • Smart phone and tablet ownership static
                                                                      • Console ownership on a decline
                                                                        • Figure 11: Ownership of static and portable games consoles, December 2013-September 2016
                                                                      • Mobile gaming is a crowded market
                                                                        • Core game developers are using established IPs to get into the mobile gaming market
                                                                          • Figure 12: GAMEVICE physical control modules for iPhone
                                                                        • Factors in user retention
                                                                          • Rewarding daily/regular play
                                                                            • Figure 13: Daily play bonus in Pokémon Go
                                                                          • Encouraging player investment
                                                                            • Breaking repetitiveness
                                                                              • In-game limited-time events
                                                                                • Mobile games and eSports
                                                                                • Companies and Brands – What You Need to Know

                                                                                  • Supercell launch Clash of Clans spinoff, Clash Royale
                                                                                    • Pokémon Go puts the ‘mobile’ in mobile gaming
                                                                                      • Nintendo brings its most famous IP to mobile devices with Super Mario Run
                                                                                        • Celebrities extend their brands in mobile games
                                                                                          • 2016 sees biggest mobile gaming championships to date
                                                                                            • Four developers account for 89% of marketing spend on mobile games
                                                                                              • TV accounts for 92% of mobile game marketing spend on traditional channels
                                                                                              • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                                                • Supercell launch Clash of Clans spinoff, Clash Royale
                                                                                                  • Figure 14: Clash Royale gameplay
                                                                                                • Pokémon Go puts the ‘mobile’ in mobile gaming
                                                                                                  • Figure 15: Pokémon Go gameplay
                                                                                                • Nintendo brings its most famous IP to mobile devices with Super Mario Run
                                                                                                  • Figure 16: Super Mario Run gameplay
                                                                                                • Celebrities extend their brands in mobile games
                                                                                                  • 2016 sees biggest mobile gaming championships to date
                                                                                                    • Sea Hero Quest is a mobile game helping dementia research
                                                                                                      • Figure 17: Sea Hero Quest gameplay
                                                                                                  • Advertising and Marketing Activity

                                                                                                    • Four developers account for 89% of marketing spend on mobile games
                                                                                                      • Figure 18: Total above-the line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on mobile games, 01/01/2016-01/01/2017
                                                                                                    • TV accounts for 92% of mobile game marketing spend on traditional channels
                                                                                                      • Figure 19: Total above-the line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on mobile games, 01/01/2016-01/01/2017
                                                                                                    • Nielsen Ad Intel coverage
                                                                                                    • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                      • 45% of mobile device users play mobile games more than once per week
                                                                                                        • Puzzle games the most popular genre of mobile game by far
                                                                                                          • Mid-core games hit the right balance between broad appeal and monetisation
                                                                                                            • Four out of five female players do not spend money on any genre of mobile game
                                                                                                              • Volume of players makes up for low download-to-spend ratio in casual genres
                                                                                                                • No ‘catch-all’ way to motivate players to make in-app purchases
                                                                                                                  • Mobile gaming sessions are often longer than 10 minutes
                                                                                                                    • Six in 10 players want simplicity from their mobile games
                                                                                                                      • Attitudes of mobile gamers interested in core games on mobile devices
                                                                                                                      • Mobile Gaming Frequency

                                                                                                                        • 45% play more than once per week
                                                                                                                          • Figure 20: Mobile gaming frequency, October 2016
                                                                                                                        • Women more likely than men to play mobile games
                                                                                                                        • Genres Played

                                                                                                                          • Puzzle games the most popular genre of mobile game by far
                                                                                                                            • Figure 21: Genres of mobile game played, October 2016
                                                                                                                          • Players generally stick to one or two mobile gaming genres
                                                                                                                            • Figure 22: Repertoire of genres played, October 2016
                                                                                                                        • Spending on Mobile Games

                                                                                                                          • Mid-core games hit the right balance between broad appeal and monetisation
                                                                                                                            • Figure 23: Spending on mobile games by players of a genre, October 2016
                                                                                                                          • Four out of five female players do not spend money on any genre of mobile game
                                                                                                                            • Volume of players makes up for low download-to-spend ratio in casual genres
                                                                                                                              • Figure 24: Proportion of mobile gamers spending money on genres of mobile game, October 2016
                                                                                                                            • Players who spend money on mobile games also more open to advertising
                                                                                                                              • Figure 25: Mobile gaming behaviours, by spending on mobile games, October 2016
                                                                                                                              • Figure 26: Number of genres mobile gamers spent money on, October 2016
                                                                                                                            • Increase in core games creates more potential to attract high spenders
                                                                                                                              • Figure 27: Attitudes to mobile gaming, by spending on mobile games, October 2016
                                                                                                                          • Reasons for In-app Purchases

                                                                                                                            • No ‘catch-all’ way to motivate players to make in-app purchases
                                                                                                                              • Figure 28: Reasons for making in-app purchases in mobile games, October 2016
                                                                                                                          • Mobile Gaming Behaviours

                                                                                                                            • Mobile gaming sessions are often longer than 10 minutes
                                                                                                                              • Figure 29: Relative frequency of mobile gamer behaviours, October 2016
                                                                                                                            • Players more likely to download new game than delete existing ones
                                                                                                                              • Mobile gamers are open to opt-in advertising
                                                                                                                                • In-app purchases more likely to be habitual than one-offs
                                                                                                                                • Attitudes towards Mobile Gaming

                                                                                                                                  • Six in 10 players want simplicity from their mobile games
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 30: Attitudes to mobile games and mobile gaming, October 2016
                                                                                                                                  • Attitudes of mobile gamers interested in core games on mobile devices
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 31: GAMEVICE physical controls for iPad Pro
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 32: Attitudes towards mobile gaming, by attitudes towards mobile gaming, October 2016
                                                                                                                                • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                                    • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                                      • Consumer research methodology

                                                                                                                                      Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                      To learn more about the companies covered in this report please contact us.

                                                                                                                                      Mobile Gaming - UK - February 2017

                                                                                                                                      US $2,672.70 (Excl.Tax)