This report provides comprehensive and current information and analysis of the mobile gaming market including mobile gaming market size, anticipated market forecast, relevant market segmentation, and industry trends for the mobile gaming market in the US.

Common Market Research Questions Clients Ask

What is the size of the mobile gaming market?

The global gaming market was expected to cross the 3 billion player mark and $200 billion revenue threshold in 2023, which will be largely driven by the mobile gaming market. However, mobile in-game spending is down. During the first half of 2022, spending was $41.2 billion globally, which is down 6.6% from the $44.1 billion reached during the same period in 2021.

Who has the largest share of the US mobile gaming market?

Android system devices have a greater global mobile gaming market share driving total downloads, recording an estimated 23.9 billion downloads in 2022. However, Apple’s iOS’s younger US user base are more inclined to spend on mobile games. In 2022, Apple gained $25.6 billion from mobile game spend compared to Android’s $15.6 billion.

What are the challenges facing the mobile gaming market in the US?

In-game advertisements hinder the growth of the hyper-casual mobile gaming genre; 32% of US mobile gamers aged 18-24 have stopped playing a game due to ads.  Gamers have a nearly unending flood of mobile game options to switch to if an experience is off putting. Games that players find off-putting may find themselves a target in their competitors’ next big game’s viral marketing strategy.

Mobile Gaming Market Landscape

Video game players are mobile gamers: all adults who played video games in the last three months played on mobile. Meanwhile, 80% of console gamers also played on mobile. Mobile gaming is incredibly ever-present in gamers’ lives, and many top games have mobile versions for gamers on the go. Globally, spending in mobile gaming declined in the first half of 2022 vs 2021 as gamers have returned to real-world activities; however, downloads have grown.

Mobile gaming, and mobile advertising, is in the midst of a wide-reaching change to the way consumers’ data and privacy is tracked. As Apple and Google continue to fine-tune their approaches, the outcome of these changes will become more apparent in years to come. However, mobile gaming is largely switching away from tracking installs and conversions to focusing more on user sessions and spending. This user engagement-focused approach should create better games that players want to play longer, and ones in which they’re more inclined to spend and engage with ads.

Mobile Gaming Market Statistics

  • 49% of mobile gamers download at least one free-to-play mobile game each month The mobile gaming industry can be a highly competitive market with heavy churn, but mobile gamers are still engaged in trying new games and spending on their favorites. Even gamers who acknowledge they are financially struggling are still spending money on in-game transactions, indicating that rising inflation should not bite into the day-to-day aspects of gaming.
  • 29% of mobile gamers looked up a product or service after seeing an ad In 2022, mobile gamers are less likely than gamers were in 2021 to tap/click on ads they encounter in mobile games for other gaming products (21% vs 28%, respectively), but they are still interested in finding out more about products they see, with 29% looking up a product or service after seeing an ad. Hyper-casualization trends in mobile gaming seem to be making younger gamers more ad-averse in gaming, compared to older generations who are significantly less likely to quit a game over advertising.

Future Market Trends in Mobile Gaming

Gamers are largely enjoying the entertainment provided by mobile games, all gamer segments present a degree of spending, indicating the mobile games industry are doing well satisfying each of them. However, financially struggling gamers display the highest instances of high-value spending on mobile. With in-game spending and loot box legislation becoming something of a growing concern, the industry would do well to consider the negative psychological impact of over-aggressive monetization.

Read on to discover more about the mobile gaming consumer market, read our US Streaming Video Market Report 2021, or take a look at our other Entertainment research reports.

Quickly Understand

  • Key players in the mobile gaming market.
  • Who plays mobile games and how their spending has trended over recent years.
  • How gamers discover mobile games and their reaction to gaming advertising.
  • Gamer segments most likely to be influenced by mobile gaming advertising.
  • Gamers’ attitudes toward mobile gaming and opportunities for enhancing coverage.

Covered in this Report

Brands include: Google, Apple, Diablo Immortal, Xbox, PlayStation, Newzoo, iOS, Android, Tencent, miHoYo, Activision-Blizzard, Facebook, Minecraft, PUBG Mobile, Honor of Kings, Genshin Impact, Roblox, Coin Master, Pokemon GO, Candy Crush Saga, Garena Free Fire, Mojang, NetEase, Diablo Immortal, Super Mario Run, Dragalia Lost, Sony, Flappy Bird, Hasbro, Lego, Cheetos, Unilever-Nogger, Unity, Bejeweled, .

Expert Analysis from a Specialist in the Entertainment Sector

This report, written by Brian Benway, a leading analyst in the Entertainment sector, delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Mobile gaming is for everyone, it’s always on hand and provides entertainment for the widest audience of gamers. Advertising and monetization strategies are changing, but it looks like the mobile gaming industry is moving in a positive direction for consumers and brands.

Brian Benway
Gaming and Entertainment Analyst

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
    • This Report looks at the following areas
    • Definition
    • Market context
  2. Executive Summary

    • Top takeaways
    • Market overview
      • Figure 1: Global video game revenue, by segment, 2022 (est)
      • Figure 2: Mobile video gaming outlook, 2022-27
    • Opportunities and challenges
    • Mobile gaming is pivoting to engagement strategies post IDFA
    • Growing legal concern for loot boxes
    • The saturated hyper-casual genre may need to learn to survive with fewer ads
    • Console brands continue to adjust their strategy toward mobile
    • Key consumer insights
    • Mobile gamers enjoy free-to-play frivolity, but engagement will drive spending
      • Figure 3: Spending on mobile gaming content – Interest or participation, 2022
    • Rethink ad strategies for retention in a post IDFA world
      • Figure 4: Mobile gaming ad reaction, by age, 2022
    • Whaling is unhealthy and a dangerous practice for the industry
      • Figure 5: Monthly spending on mobile games, by financial situation, 2022
    • Encouraging and rewarding engagement
      • Figure 6: Mobile gaming – Dominant behaviors, by gender, 2022
    • Mobile gaming should reinforce referrals and group play engagement
      • Figure 7: Mobile games discoverability, by mobile gamer segment, 2022
    • Mobile gaming will survive economic hardships
      • Figure 8: Attitudes toward mobile games, by financial situation, 2022
  3. Mobile Gaming Market Overview

    • Global in-game mobile spending is down for the first half of 2022
      • Figure 9: Global video game revenue, by segment, 2022 (est)
    • Globally, mobile in-game spending declines more for Android users
      • Figure 10: Global mobile game spending and downloads, by operating system, 1H 2021 vs 1H 2022
  4. Mobile Gaming Key Players

    • Chinese published games lead the global mobile industry
      • Figure 11: Top mobile games, by revenue, 2021
    • Candy Crush Saga is the top-grossing free mobile game in the US
    • Minecraft mobile remains the top premium mobile game
  5. Market Factors

    • Data privacy changes shift engagement strategies in mobile gaming
    • Gaming crackdown in China results in revenue declines
    • Loot boxes: gaming or gambling, a growing legal concern
    • Microsoft and Minecraft reject NFTs and blockchain gaming
  6. Competitive Strategies and Market Opportunities

    • Major console brands take different approaches to mobile
      • Figure 12: PlayStation Backbone controller, 2022
    • How hyper-casual games do more with less
      • Figure 13: Downloads of hyper-casual games, 2018-20
    • Audio ads don’t stop the action, but that doesn’t make them immersive
  7. The Mobile Video Game Consumer – Fast Facts

    • 49% of mobile gamers download at least one free-to-play mobile game each month
    • 29% of mobile gamers looked up a product or service after seeing an ad
    • 58% of mobile gamers spend less than $10 a month on mobile
    • 65% of mobile gamers have a favorite game or two
    • 43% of mobile gamers learn about mobile games via word of mouth
    • 72% of Black adult mobile gamers want to play mobile games on PC and console
  8. US Mobile Game Player Overview

    • Approachability and ease of access key features of mobile adoption
      • Figure 14: Video gaming in the past three months – Mobile devices, 2022
      • Figure 15: Active mobile, console and PC gamers, by key demographics, 2022
      • Figure 16: Video game devices played, by mobile gamers, 2022
    • Younger mobile gamers fiercely attached to iOS
      • Figure 17: Mobile operating system used by mobile gamers, by age, 2022
    • Amazon’s Android offshoot, Fire OS, shows popularity as a gaming option
      • Figure 18: Mobile gaming frequency, by operating system, 2022
    • Personal achievement and dominating competition top mobile motivators
      • Figure 19: Top reasons for playing mobile video games – Grouped by motivations, 2022
  9. Mobile Gaming Content Purchases

    • Without upfront costs mobile gamers can try anything that strikes them
      • Figure 20: Spending on mobile gaming content – Interest or participation, 2022
    • Console-like mobile games may draw players more willing to spend
      • Figure 21: Spending on mobile game content within the past month, by device usage, 2022
    • Despite rising inflation, mobile gaming will weather economic turbulence
      • Figure 22: Spending on mobile game content within the past month, by financial situation, 2022
  10. Gaming Ad Reactions

    • Mobile gamers are wary of engaging with ads, but still interested
      • Figure 23: Gaming ad reaction, by all gamers who saw ads and mobile gamers, 2021-22
    • Young mobile gamers less willing to put up with ads, older gamers cope
      • Figure 24: Mobile gaming ad reaction, by age, 2022
    • Just as games can be advertising, advertising could be games
      • Figure 25: Mobile gaming ad reaction, by mobile gamer segment, 2022
      • Figure 26: Playable factory branded mobile ads, 2022
  11. Monthly Spending on Mobile Games

    • $5-10 value holds position as the sweet spot for mobile spending
      • Figure 27: Monthly spending on mobile games, 2020-22
    • Mobile gaming monetization works, and players are happily spending
      • Figure 28: Monthly spending on mobile games, by mobile gamer segment, 2022
    • Hunting whales and the dark side of mobile monetization strategy
      • Figure 29: Monthly spending on mobile games, by financial situation, 2022
      • Figure 30: Financial situation, by age, 2022
  12. Mobile Gaming Behaviors

    • Encouraging and rewarding engagement is replacing loot boxes
      • Figure 31: Mobile gaming behaviors, 2022
    • Female gamers may be more receptive to engagement strategies
      • Figure 32: Mobile gaming – Dominant behaviors, by gender, 2022
    • Age and desire for social gaming are contrasting mobile differentiators
      • Figure 33: Mobile gaming – Dominant behaviors, by age, 2022
      • Figure 34: Mobile gaming – Dominant behaviors, by mobile gamer segments, 2022
  13. Mobile Games Discoverability

    • Mobile gamers appreciate in-game advertising for new recommendations
      • Figure 35: Mobile games discoverability, 2022
      • Figure 36: Overall gaming merchandise discoverability, 2021
    • Word of mouth discovery should translate to friend referrals
      • Figure 37: Mobile games discoverability, by gaming device usage, 2022
    • Mobile gaming Explorers more interested in industry news sources
      • Figure 38: Mobile games discoverability, by mobile gamer segment, 2022
  14. Attitudes toward Mobile Gaming

    • Mobile gaming’s low cost should fit into tight budgets despite inflation
      • Figure 39: Attitudes toward mobile games, by financial situation, 2022
    • Keep young women engaged with new tech in ways that work for them
      • Figure 40: Attitudes toward mobile games, by gender, 2022
    • Cross-platform opportunities bridge mobile and console gamer segments
      • Figure 41: Attitudes towards mobile games, by race/Hispanic origin and age, 2022
    • Parents may appreciate mobile gaming subscription services
      • Figure 42: Attitudes towards mobile games, by parental status and age, 2022
    • Socializers are highly engaged with mobile, can help popularize new ideas
      • Figure 43: Attitudes toward mobile games, by mobile gamer segment, 2022
  15. Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

    • Data sources
    • Sales data
    • Consumer survey data
    • Abbreviations and terms
    • Abbreviations
  16. Appendix – The Consumer

    • US mobile gamer segments
    • Mintel gamer segments
      • Figure 44: Gamer segments, 2022
      • Figure 45: Top reasons for playing video games, by gamer segments, 2022
    • Achievers – Characteristics and demographics
      • Figure 46: Primary Achievers, by key demographics, 2022
    • Explorers – Characteristics and demographics
      • Figure 47: Primary Explorers, by key demographics, 2022
    • Socializers – Characteristics and demographics
      • Figure 48: Primary Socializers, by key demographics, 2022
    • Competitors – Characteristics and demographics
      • Figure 49: Primary Competitors, by key demographics, 2022
    • Who are the Other gamers?
      • Figure 50: Other gamers, by key demographics, 2022
    • Attitudes toward gaming
    • Attitudes toward mobile, PC and console gaming segments
      • Figure 51: Attitudes toward mobile, PC and console gaming, 2022
    • Attitudes toward purchasing and mobile gaming value
      • Figure 52: Attitudes toward purchasing and mobile gaming value, 2022
    • Attitudes toward mobile innovations and advertising
      • Figure 53: Attitudes toward mobile innovations and advertising, 2022

About the report

This market report provides in-depth analysis and insight supported by a range of data. At the same time, introductory and top-level content is provided to give you an overview of the issues covered.


Mintel provides a range of market information, frequently through the category level, including market size and forecasting, complete with market drivers that illustrate the forces that shape a category or market.


Mintel’s proprietary consumer research provides our analysts with the attitudinal and behavioral data used to provide valuable insight to topical issues.


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