According to Sensor Tower, mobile gaming revenues hit $44.7 billion in the first half of 2021. This represents a 17.9% increase in growth year-over-year.
Both Apple and Google saw an increase in spending. The Apple App Store reported game revenue went up by 13.5% year-over-year while Google Play said game revenue increased by 24.7% year-over-year.
Despite these findings, a new report from data analytics firm App Annie showed that mobile gaming downloads fell flat in the first quarter of 2021. According to App Annie, the mobile gaming market averaged a billion downloads a week for the second straight quarter. This figure is flat when compared to the first quarter of 2020.
“App Annie didn’t explain the slowdown in the second quarter for games, but it does coincide with Apple’s prioritization of privacy over targeted advertising with the April launch of iOS 14.5,” writes Dean Takahashi of VentureBeat. “That version asks users if they will grant permission for advertisers to use their data from the Identifier of Advertisers (IDFA) for advertising purposes. Most users are not expected to grant that permission, and that could hurt the ability of the game industry to target ads at gamers.”
Even though downloads slowed down, mobile gaming revenue did not. In the first quarter of 2021, mobile game revenues averaged $1.7 billion per week. This signifies a 13% increase from the first quarter of 2020.