The Mobile gaming niche is on everyone’s radar after it achieved massive growth in the last couple of years. The companies are porting their games from PC and console to Android and iOS. In the last couple of years, we have seen reports from market research companies like Sensor Tower, Newzoo, and App Annie which projects growth in the mobile gaming niche. In 2019, Facebook started to provide gaming insights and analysis through its Gaming report. Now, the Facebook Gaming report has been released for 2021 which reveals interesting information about mobile gamers.
The report was designed after surveying 13,246 mobile gamers from the US, the UK, Canada, France, Germany, South Korea, Japan, Vietnam, and Brazil. It focuses on gamers demands, behavior, including their motivations, preferences, and habits to help developers, publishers and marketers understand evolving gaming motivations, new user acquisition, and retain player engagement.
The influx of new mobile gamers
Facebook Gaming report for 2021 majorly focused on the influx of new mobile gamers in 2020. As a result of worldwide lockdown due to COVID-19, the number of people playing mobile games massively increased across the globe. 41% of new gamers started playing during the pandemic as they had more free time. The report also mentions that those who started playing mobile games after the initial COVID-19 outbreak is still playing today. With 70% of people reported spending more time on mobile devices, this means a massive change in consumer behavior.
Major insights from Facebook gaming report for 2021
The report tries to cater 360 degrees to mobile gaming information. More
people were playing, watching, and streaming than ever before, bringing in new gamers as well as re-engaging lapsed players. The major insights of the Facebook gaming report for 2021 are:
- Those who started playing mobile games during the pandemic are significantly younger than the existing players in the US, UK, and Germany. Except for South Korea, where new mobile gamers are older and prefer casual genres.
- New mobile gamers are clear about their genre preferences with casual genre tops the chart in all the regions. This shows that game developers need to thoroughly understand the changed behavior of gamers before delving into development mode.
- Around 75% of mobile gamers don’t play games which they haven’t heard of. This shows the importance of marketing and community engagement to drive people to download the game.
- Streaming platforms have played a major role in 2020 as young gamers like to watch famous personalities playing games.
- New mobile gamers still prefer to play solo, but they’re more likely to engage with multiplayer and social features than existing players.
- The new mobile gamers are comparatively spending more money in-game than the existing players. This is also evident from the revenue generated by PUBG Mobile, Honor of Kings, Pokemon GO, Coin master, and Roblox. These 5 Mobile Games crossed $1 Billion in revenue in 2020. In the US and UK, people spend in-game to remove ads but overall players prefer free-to-play and ad-supported games.
- The UK reported a massive 50% mobile gaming audience growth followed by South Korea with 34%.
- The report also finds that the new gamers are more open to cooperative, multiplayer experiences and chatting with others in-game compared to existing players.
Similarity in new and existing players
While we have talked much about differences that exist between the behavior of new and existing gamers, we should also talk about the similarity between the two. With 2.5 billion gamers across the globe, we can also call it unity in diversity. Based on the survey results, new and existing gamers mentioned similar reasons for playing mobile games. That is, relieving stress, passing time, and generating a sense of accomplishment that they probably don’t find in the real world.
The live-streaming platforms also witnessed exponential growth in terms of hours watched. Platforms such as Twitch, YouTube Gaming, and Facebook Gaming all clocked record viewing hours. The momentum of live streaming is being maintained as Streamlabs reported that people watched 7.46 billion hours of content across all live streaming platforms from July to September 2020. After analyzing the complete report, we can say that the new gamers are here to stay and developers need to cater to their demands.