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Mobile Gaming Reached New Heights in Q2 2019

Lexi Sydow

Mobile is turning the masses into gamers and setting records in downloads and consumer spend.

Mobile overall had a record quarter in Q2 2019 seeing over 30.3 billion app downloads and nearly $22.6 billion consumer spend across iOS and Google Play. Games accounted for 35% of global downloads in the quarter, but they made up nearly 75% of consumer spend across iOS and Google Play. 

Consumers Downloaded 11.2B Games in Q2 2019

Google Play widened its downloads lead over iOS by 15 percentage points quarter over quarter for overall apps. This lead was more stark for Games: Google Play led iOS in Q2 Game downloads by 265%. 

The largest markets for Games downloads on Google Play in Q2 2019 were India, Brazil and the US. The US is a notable difference to the trend for overall Google Play apps where the top 3 markets were India, Brazil and Indonesia. On iOS, the top 3 markets for Games downloads were consistent with the top 3 markets for overall app downloads, which were China, US and Japan respectively; however, the US punches above its weight for Games and was the #1 market for iOS Games downloads in the quarter.

On Google Play, Games were the third largest contributor to overall downloads growth in Q2 2019 from the year prior. Arcade, Action and Casual games were the largest 3 gaming subcategories by Google Play downloads in Q2 2019. On iOS, Games was the largest contributor to year-over-year download growth. Arcade, Action and Puzzle games were the largest three subcategories by iOS Games downloads in the quarter. 

Across both stores, hyper-casual games such as Stack Ball, Run Race 3D and Clean Road dominated the top charts and saw particularly strong growth in the quarter. This is part of an ongoing trend we’ve reported on with the expansion of gaming into both ends of the spectrum: hyper-casual and hardcore gaming. 

Games Account For the Majority of Consumer Spend

Across both iOS and Google Play, Games represented nearly 75% of global consumer spend in Q2 2019. On Google Play, consumer spend in Games grew 20% year over year, whereas on iOS, consumer spend in Games grew over 15% year over year, albeit from a much larger base.

Across both iOS and Google Play, Games was the largest contributor to year-over-year growth in consumer spend in Q2 2019. While the US led in downloads of Games on iOS in the quarter, China was the #1 market for consumer spend in Games, followed by the US and Japan. On Google Play, the US, Japan and South Korea respectively were the largest markets for gaming consumer spend in the quarter. 

While hyper-casual games were large drivers of downloads growth across both stores in the quarter, it’s the opposite end of the spectrum that's driving growth in consumer spend. Across both stores, Role Playing, Strategy and Action subcategories of Games were the largest subcategories for consumer spend in Q2 2019. 

Breakout Games of the Q2 2019

Hyper-casual games Stack Ball, Run Race 3D, Tiles Hop: EDM Rush, Clean Road, Traffic Run and Crowd City had standout quarters for global downloads, indicating the mass appeal of simple, intuitive gaming. 

Clash of Clans re-entered the top 10 Games by consumer spend. Perfect World was a new entrant in the top consumer spend chart fueled largely by iOS spend in China after its March 2019 release. 

PUBG MOBILE maintained its #1 rank in average monthly active users (MAU) in Q2 2019 and broke back into the top 10 Games by consumer spend. Amassing this large of a user base in just over one year is particularly impressive given many of the top Games by MAU are legacy games that have been around for years.

BTS World took the world by storm at the end of the quarter, launching on June 26, 2019 and ranking #2 by global iOS Games downloads and #1 in 51 countries by iPhone downloads that same day. The game was published by Netmarble and leverages the fervent fandom surrounding Korean pop boy band BTS.

Harry Potter: Wizards Unite was a notable launch by Niantic on June 20, 2019, reaching #1 by iPhone overall downloads in the US and UK the following day. It remains yet to be seen if Niantic’s second major augmented reality (AR) mobile game launch will reach similar levels of success as its predecessor Pokémon GO. As of Q2 2019 Pokémon GO ranked #6 by global average smartphone MAU and #9 by worldwide consumer spend despite being released nearly 3 years prior. 

For a similar breakdown of mobile apps in Q2 2019, read our latest analysis.  To learn more about the gaming industry in general, check out App Annie’s State of Mobile Gaming 2019.

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July 10, 2019

Market Data
Mobile Gaming

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