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During coronavirus lockdowns, mobile game spending hits new record

Audrey Conklin
·2 min read

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U.S. mobile game spending reached an all-time high during the coronavirus pandemic.

U.S. mobile game downloads reached a record weekly average of about 120 million during the week ending April 11, a 25 percent increase from the country's weekly mobile game download average in January, according to mobile data and analytics platform App Annie.

Globally, downloads reached 1.2 billion during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns, which is a new world record, the report notes.

"In 2020, mobile game spending is set to extend its lead to more than 2.8 [times] over desktop gaming and 3.1 [times] more than home game consoles. Mobile, clearly, is in a league of its own," a blog post from App Annie reads.

The growth is due in part to more people purchasing home entertainment during the coronavirus pandemic and in part because China, which leads the mobile gaming industry, has become more strict with game-approval regulations, the report noted.

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Global users downloaded 35 percent more games, on average, in March compared to January. The report did not include specific spending dollar amounts.

Games also represented nearly 70 percent of total worldwide consumer app spending on the App Store and Google Play combined in the first quarter of 2020, but games only accounted for roughly 40 percent of downloads, according to App Annie.

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More people bought games on Google Play, but consumers spent nearly 50 percent more on App Store games than Google Play in the first quarter.

Game genres that saw the biggest increase in downloads include simulation games, trivia games, board games, casual games and adventure games. App Annie noted "Woodturning" (simulation), "Ludo King" (board) and "Gardenscapes - New Acres" (casual) as "standout" games in terms of downloads. "Discord" and "Twitch" also jumped in worldwide download numbers.

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Worldwide mobile game spending also continues to outpace computer and console game spending since 2014.

Non-gaming app downloads have also increased during COVID-19, especially business, education, fitness and entertainment-related apps, according to the report.

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