The rise of mobile gaming in 2021

Mobile Games

October 13, 2022

2021 was a record year for apps all around but especially for mobile games. They were expected to generate $89.6 billion by the end of 2021. After the huge success of the industry in 2020, where people turned to mobile gaming to get through the pandemic, everyone thought 2021 wouldn’t be able to keep the pace. It did.

Now more than ever, mobile games are thriving

Nobody really knew if mobile gaming would be as profitable as it was during 2020. After all, the pandemic that hit the world that year drew a lot of people to search for entertainment and distraction through mobile games. A year later, it turns out that the pandemic is still there and so is the success of mobile gaming.

The head of reports and forecasting for Newzoo, Tom Wijman even said in a statement “if anything, this shows that the games market is definitely no longer the seasonal, hit-driven business it once was”. Mobile games are thriving and they’re here to stay.

Now, the mobile gaming market accounts for 52% of the global market, it grew by 7.3% where PC and console gaming face a drop in numbers.

Mobile gaming is clearly gaining ground in the gaming industry, of all the gaming medium it’s the one with the most steady and impressive growth in the last few years as can be seen from the graph above.

In addition to that, mobile gamers are also a really diverse group of users. Half of them are women and 43% are aged 45 or older.

More than 5 billion hours are spent gaming on Android phones every week, which is a great opportunity for advertisers. Indeed, with so many people spending so much time on mobile games, they have become a great place to advertise for your app or even your game.

Mobile games and advertising

Mobile gamers tend to be more receptive to new advertising content than the average consumer, especially if you throw in some in-app rewards for them. According to a Walnut Unlimited study, 79% of mobile developers say that rewarded video is their most effective format. 53% of them believe that it actually drives in-app purchases. Other app types are getting inspiration from mobile games now, “bringing gamification into their in-app advertisements”.

Video ads are still the most important monetization methods for both gaming and non-gaming apps. If you want to capitalize on mobile games’ success to boost your app’s visibility, your best bet are video ads. 93% of media buyers intend to run in-game advertising by 2025, now’s your time to shine.

By having an eclectic consumer base, one that comes to mobile games mostly to be entertained,  you can easily find a game whose audience matches the one you’re targeting. Some games even tie ads to in-game rewards, hence a positive approach of gamers to them. Watching your ads may bring them something they need in the game, and they can tie that sense of reward to your app/game. 

As was said in Business of Apps, “the developers’ work pays off, the gamers can access different in-game perks and play more effectively without having to pay extra, while the brands can interact with their potential audience in an environment that is comfortable for the latter”.

All of this explains why the gaming industry is a great opportunity for advertisers and developers alike. Reaching your audience while they’re in a relaxed state (which is generally what playing a mobile game does to its users) ensures your message reaches the right audience at the right time. 

Why are creatives so important for mobile game advertising

Even though mobile games are a great platform for advertising, you need to be attentive to the creatives you’re going to put forward with your ad. After all, they have the power to make or break your mobile game. Good quality creatives are the key to improving your app or game’s visibility, they can even turn your mobile game into a global success.  

Video ads will allow you to capture the audience’s attention and showcase the key features of your app or games. Moreover, mobile games know their audience, and you can bet on that to efficiently target the consumers you need. 

It’s also a great place to enact contextual advertising, either through the game genre (if you advertise a puzzle game in a puzzle game, you’re sure to reach a relevant audience) or thematics (like advertising your meditation app in a zen game). 

Mobile gaming is right in its prime, it keeps growing and spilling over adjacent industries, as we can see from Zynga’s recent buyout by Take-Two. It was a good place to advertise in 2021 and will be again in 2022. It’s time to get your video ads ready, if you need any help in that department we’d be happy to give you a hand.

Are you planning on advertising more in mobile games? Do you think 2022 will be as good for them as 2021 was? Tell us in the comments!

Marine Nozerand

Hi there, I'm Marine (she/her), I'm a Content Manager at Apptamin. Apptamin is a creative agency specialized in app videos (video ads, app store videos, etc.).
Marine Nozerand

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