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Mobile gaming apps have been around since the late 1990s and have evolved into a robust revenue-generating powerhouse. They accounted for 37 percent of revenue for the games market globally in 2016. China generated the most revenue - accounting for 29.8 percent of mobile game installation worldwide. The North American region also made billions – producing approximately $6.9 billion USD in revenue in 2016. It was the second-largest mobile gaming region, just behind Asia, and much of that revenue can be attributed to the U.S.

Where is the money coming from?

Mobile apps for iOS devices offer high earning potential. The middle of 2016 saw some interesting figures when it came down to in-app purchases based on device. Most in-app purchases worldwide generated $7 USD per buyer monthly. However, users that made in-app purchases from iOS devices paid almost $11 USD on average.

Freemium purchases also generated revenue in 2016. Approximately 64 percent of mobile gamers using freemium apps made at least one mobile in-app purchases during February 2016.

Mobile games took over revenue share in 2016 for app store purchases. According to Statista, 90 percent of Google Play Store revenues were attributed to mobile gaming apps. Apple’s App Store also saw a similar large attribution of revenue thanks to mobile gaming as it accounted for 80 percent of its revenue.

How many people are playing and where are they playing?

There were 2.8 billion mobile gamers who were actively using games on their mobile devices every month. This figure increased by 100 million from 2015. The bathroom and workplace are mobile gaming playgrounds.Yes. It’s true. People play mobile games while “taking care of business.” Statista data revealed that 30 percent of U.S. mobile game leisure time occurred while gamers were on the toilet, while another 18 percent played at work.

The smartphone is the device of choice for many mobile gamers worldwide. In the Asia Pacific market alone, 71 percent of Internet users played a mobile game via a smartphone in 2016, according to Statista. This was closely followed by Latin America, Middle East and Asia markets at 68 percent. The North American and European markets saw smartphone mobile gaming activity of 52 percent and 50 percent respectively.

Revenue from mobile games is expected to increase in 2017.

2016’s revenue-generating statistics for mobile gaming demonstrates its increasing growth potential and opportunity for 2017 and beyond. As access to the Internet and smartphone devices continue to increase, mobile gaming apps will continue to scale and produce revenue-generating opportunities. Revenues are expected to grow to as much as $40.6 billion USD in 2017. This is an 18-percent increase from 2015.

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