• Slava Norel


From Atari to consoles like Sega and Nintendo, down to the portability and flexibility of games that came when smartphones hit the market — mobile games won’t cease to leave us in awe. We’ve come a long way from Rovio’s 2011 ‘Angry Birds’ to the greater complexity of Virtual Reality and Augment Reality all cramped up in those little devices. Mobile games are making all sorts of waves across various mobile stores you can think of.

But, when you think of the word “entertainment” what comes to mind is the funny clip of the angry camel chasing a man that popped up on your Youtube feed or the guy juggling five double-edged swords while spewing fire out of his mouth and doing a push up at the same time(Alright, I made this one up, but it’s a good thought). What you may not think of immediately are games — particularly mobile games, and the statistics are not in your favor. Mobiles games have totally changed how people entertain themselves so much that a survey around the world shows users actually spend over 43% of their average time on smartphones playing games; which amounts to about 195 hours in a month(Source: GO-Globe).

The statistics are going to keep blowing you away, so hold on to your sofas or bus stand as we go through the impact mobile games have been having these recent years and how prevalent it has become in today’s society. We’ll be looking at the numbers and tossing out some stereotypes. How wide have mobile games spread in recent years? Who plays mobile games? Shouldn’t it just be rebellious kids and teenagers staging a revolution against the “bedtime” ruse, or are parents secretly taking over from them when they send them off to bed and turn off their phones? These are the kind of questions we are going to be circling around as we go through the data.


A study commissioned by Google Play with SKIM Analytics offers some resourceful insights. This study was done with over 20,000 mobile game players across 8 markets, and their findings crumble the idea of dividing game players into stereotypes of age and gender. Most people would only see two kinds of mobile game players: the ‘hardcore’ gamers who play high skill, complex games and only drop their phones to bathe and sleep or the ‘casual’ gamers who play low skill, unchallenging games and play once in a while.

The reality happens to be that most players don’t fall under these extremes but somewhere between them and more interestingly, they don’t fall under generic groups like old(passive) or young(enthusiast), male(enthusiast) or female(passive). What actually determines the kind of game a person plays and the regularity at which they play are other factors like social behavior and the role of the game in a player’s life drive more passion for a game than their age or gender. It actually turns out that the dominant age group for the game enthusiasts or passive players is between 26 and 45 years old which is not what you’d expect. Also, there is only a slight male bias(a little over 50%) for game enthusiasts and passive players.

So, don’t be surprised when you see the person topping your subway surfer’s high score on your friend list is your grandma — age and skills are not in the same spectrum.


Social media apps are not technically entertainment apps but we’re comparing them with mobile games because of the competition in download rate off mobile stores and how much they have spread through modern society. A place for stalkers, serial killers, and aunts who don’t know any better than to write embarrassing stuff about you on your comment section(In no particular order of severity).

While Social media apps like Facebook and Twitter remain the most popularly downloaded apps from app stores, a recent study done by a mobile advertising company — Tapjoy, sheds some light on what is really going on. This new study suggests that this popular pastime is officially more popular than social networks as of recent, at least in the United States(which seems like a pretty good place to gauge worldwide reactions).

A large percentage of consumers said they’d rather give up social networking apps than give up their favorite Android and iOS games. Now this may seem counterintuitive since these apps are downloaded so much, but it’s not really about how much the apps are download, but how regularly and how much time a user spends on them in a day on average. According to the section of the Tapjoy’s study focus mainly on interactive games, over half of all mobile gamers in the U.S. play interactive titles on their smartphones and tablets for at least an hour per day; and this is only interactive games alone, with many of them being parents. Three out of four launch games no fewer than three times per day whereas almost half do so between 5 and 10 times a day, according to the report.

Personally, I love social media apps, but I have not used Instagram or Twitter in months now and only use Facebook once in a while and usually for business purposes. But, I almost never miss playing Light It Up when I’m eating, in the men’s room or simply taking a break.

Now, let’s just run through some more amazing stats about mobile games:

· There are now 2.4 billion gamers in the world. 203 million out of them are in the U.S and 56% of them play more than 10+ times a week.

· 74c of every dollar spent on the app store was spent on mobile games.

· 62% of people install a game on their phone within a week of owning it.

· Only about 10% of mobile gamers are teenagers.

· 51% of global revenues is attributed to mobile games, as opposed to 25% to console and 24% to PC games.

So, you see, mobile games have slowly crawled their way to the top and it doesn’t look like they’ll give up that throne anytime soon. With the rollout of 5G, advancements in hardware, networks and even AI, mobile games will offer such highly personalized experiences that they will cut into every moment of our lives.



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