Mobile game downloads witness historic decline to 88 billion for the first time in 2023

In recent years, the mobile gaming market has undergone a series of shifts, initially marked by rapid growth at the onset of the pandemic, followed by challenges such as inflation, economic uncertainties, and the introduction of new privacy regulations. According to’s State of Mobile Gaming 2024 report, the global consumer spending on mobile games faced a second consecutive yearly decline, reaching $107.3 billion in 2023, alongside a notable drop in downloads for the first time, settling at nearly 88 billion.

Despite these challenges, there are promising indicators that the industry may be on the verge of a rebound. The 2% year-over-year decline in consumer spending in 2023 represents an improvement compared to the 5% decrease observed between 2021 and 2022. Several markets, including the US, the UK, and South Korea, displayed signs of recovery with either stabilized or increased year-over-year growth in 2023. This highlights the potential for growth opportunities if mobile game developers strategically target the right markets.

Notwithstanding market difficulties, individual game titles continue to find avenues for success. Seven titles surpassed the $1 billion mark in consumer spending in 2023, one more than in 2022, with Gardenscapes achieving this milestone for the first time. Launches like Monopoly GO and Honkai: Star Rail also garnered nearly instantaneous success.

On the downloads front, 15 games achieved 100 million first-time installs, a slight decline from the 20 games reaching this threshold in 2022. Noteworthy risers compared to 2022 include Block Blast Adventure Master, Royal Match, and Monopoly GO.

In the United States, only 13.3% of the top 1,000 games by downloads were newly launched in 2023, marking the lowest rate in the past five years. However, this shift is primarily influenced by the decline in the Hypercasual games market, characterized by games with short lifespans. Excluding Hypercasual, the number of new games entering the top 1,000 increased from 55 in 2022 to 79 in 2023, the highest since 2020.

While newly released games face challenges, the landscape is nuanced. The decrease is largely driven by the Hypercasual games market, with only 54 new Hypercasual games reaching the top 1,000 games by US downloads in 2023, down from 97 in 2022 and well below the peak of 210 in 2020.

Examining consumer spend, the number of new titles in the top 1,000 games increased slightly in 2023 compared to 2022, reversing a three-year downward trend. The average US consumer spend from these new games was $16 million, notably higher than previous years, with Monopoly GO contributing significantly with over $680 million in US consumer spend in 2023.

The top subgenres by consumer spend in 2023 mirrored those of 2022, encompassing 4X March Battle (Strategy), MMORPG, Team Battle (RPG), and Slots (Casino). However, the key markets for these subgenres varied, with Slots and 4X March Battle dominating in the US, MMORPG leading in South Korea, and Team Battle taking precedence in Japan. Together, these four subgenres accounted for more than a third of the global consumer spending in mobile games during 2023.

Written by Jordan Bevan


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