With the ever increasing smartphone penetration, the love for mobile games has also been seeing an upward trend. Gaming has been a crucial part of the mobile industry since the launch of the App Store in 2008. For seven years in a row, gaming apps have been used more than apps from any other category. Consequently, mobile gaming has truly shaped how we engage on our smartphones today.
According to the latest report on global mobile gaming landscape from Flurry Analytics, Indians are amongst the top three mobile gaming addicts in the world. India has the 2nd highest number of mobile game addicts globally followed by China. The US takes the top spot with 20 percent of all gaming sessions worldwide. The other two countries in top five are Brazil and Russia and together the top five are driving 50 percent of all global gaming sessions.
Fewer but longer gaming sessions
Notably, while mobile gaming sessions have declined by 10 percent year-over-year, time spent in gaming apps has remained steady over the last year (+1 percent). The average US consumer now spends 33 minutes per day in mobile games, and the average session length rose to 7 minutes and 6 seconds in 2017. So while gamers are opening gaming apps less often, they are spending more time playing them during each session.
Additionally, the latest year-over-year session length growth equals an increase of 44 seconds (+12 percent) per session, which indicates higher in-game user engagement than in previous years.
Also, Board & Strategy, Racing and Sports mobile games now have the highest game sessions at 29 percent, 26 percent and 9 percent respectively, compared to three years ago, when Arcade, Casual and Brain games dominated by driving 55 percent of all gaming sessions.
In the gaming industry, one thing remains true: the bigger the screen, the greater the engagement. When users play on-the-go, they take their medium-sized phone or phablet. However, if they’re purposely dedicating time out of their day to mobile gaming, they are more likely to pick up their full-size tablet device, which explains average session lengths of over 10 minutes on full-size tablets.
With regard to the hours of the day that are most popular for on-the-go versus on-the-couch gaming, tablet gaming showed a steady peak in the morning. Most users carry their phone with them during the day, especially in the morning as they commute to school or work, so this is when many gamers play on-the-go. On the other hand, the use of tablets for couch gaming peaks in the evening, as more users log in from the comfort of their couch or bed.
New opportunities for app developers
Thus, as gamers dedicate more time to playing games on their smartphone or tablet devices, they are also making more in-app purchases, thus making the gaming industry an attractive one for developers and advertisers alike. According to Flurry, longer sessions mean new opportunities for innovative engagement and monetization tactics. For example, the peak usage hours on mobile devices are between 6 and 9 pm, which app developers can leverage to target specific users with acquisition or engagement campaigns.