Today more than half of Brits aged 16 to 24 play games on their mobiles.
With smartphone adoption on the rise and developers introducing new gaming apps almost daily, mobile gaming will only get bigger.
Here are 19 facts and mobile gaming statistics from the UK to show you how popular it is.
Top Seven Mobile Gaming Statistics in the UK
- 1.39% of Brits played games on their mobile phones in 2021.
- Mobile gamers in the UK spend an average of two and a half hours a day on their devices.
- UK consumers spent £1.5 billion on mobile games in 2020.
- Puzzle games are the most popular genre among British mobile gamers.
- Mobile games in the UK could generate $5 billion in revenue by 2025.
- There were more than 13 billion mobile game downloads in the first quarter of 2020.
- Role-playing games make $0.66 per active user.
UK Mobile Gaming Statistics
1.39% of Brits played games on their mobile phones in 2021.
(Statista) (The Sun)
According to a survey by Statista carried out between October 2020 and January 2021, nearly 40% of interviewees said they played games on their smartphones, almost double compared to the previous year when only 23% said the same.
A more recent survey on mobile gaming stats in the UK, on the other hand, reveals that smartphones are now the main device for gaming for 25% of Britons.
2. The number of mobile gamers in the UK peaked in March 2020.
(GamesIndustry.Biz) (The Sun)
Due to restrictions and the Covid-19 pandemic, the number of Brits playing games on mobile grew by a whopping 50%, which translates to about 8.6 million new mobile gamers. Not only that, but 69% of existing mobile gamers, a new study shows, admitted to playing more during the lockdowns.
In addition to the pandemic, larger phone screens and faster mobile connections, like 5G internet, contributed to the rise of mobile gamers in the UK.
3. The most downloaded gaming app on the Google Play Store had 476,631 downloads.
These are the most downloaded gaming apps on Google Play in the UK as of July 2021:
- Fidget Trading 3D – Fidget Toys—476,631 downloads.
- Count Masters—417,796 downloads.
- Run Rich 3D—313,669 downloads.
- My Talking Angela 2—271,374 downloads.
- Soccer Super Star—261,541 downloads.
4. Kwalee is the top British mobile game publisher by number of downloads.
Kwalee hosts an array of hypercasual games, which collectively reached 500+ million downloads by November 2020.
The same year, this publisher launched four different games, all of which were fairly successful, including Let’s Be Cops (13 million downloads), Teacher Simulator (7.5 million), Bake It (42 million) and Line Up:Draw the Criminal (18 million downloads).
5. Mobile gamers in the UK spend an average of two and a half hours a day on their devices.
Around 60% of British mobile phone gamers played games while relaxing at home, a 2019 Statista survey on mobile gaming phone facts and habits reveals.
31% of gamers chose to play mobile games while watching TV, with a smaller share taken up by people playing games before bedtime or while commuting. The smallest percentage of respondents said they played games at university or at work.
6. UK consumers spent £1.5 billion on mobile games in 2020.
Spending of British consumers on mobile games saw a growth of 21.3% year-over-year, going up from £1.21 billion in 2019 to 1.5 billion pounds the following year.
UK Mobile Gaming Demographics & Statistics
7. There are more female mobile gamers in the UK.
43% of female respondents in a 2020 survey stated they had played games on their mobiles, whereas 35% of male interviewees said the same. The penetration of mobile gaming among women was not always higher. For instance, in 2013, 22% of male respondents said they had used their mobile to play games compared to 16% of females in the survey.
8. 58% of Brits aged 16 to 24 are mobile gamers.
Respondents aged 25-34 and 35-44 are second and third, with 51% of both age groups saying that they had ever played games on mobile. Unsurprisingly, mobile gaming statistics in the UK indicate that only 12% of the 65+ age bracket had played mobile games.
All age groups saw an increase in mobile gaming penetration between 2019 and 2020, with gamers from the age of 35 to 44 witnessing the biggest rise of 24 percentage points.
9. Puzzle games are the most popular genre among British mobile gamers.
15% of respondents in a YouGov survey said they played puzzle and breakout games. Action and brain games were the second most popular mobile gaming genre (10% each), followed by adventure and card & casino games (chosen by 7% each).
Smartphone gaming statistics further point that puzzle and breakout games were the most popular among all age groups, except for Gen Z, who preferred action games.
Mobile Gaming Revenue Statistics in 2021
10. The mobile gaming market is worth more than the PC and console market.
In 2020 the UK mobile gaming market was worth £1.5 billion, ahead of the PC and digital console market, valued at £1.36 billion. The market share of mobile gaming has not always been the highest, mobile gaming market statistics suggest. In 2019, the PC and digital console market came out on top, valued at £1.9bn compared to mobile gaming, worth 1.2 billion GBP.
11. Mobile games in the UK could generate $5 billion in revenue by 2025.
Mobile gaming facts and predictions show that by 2025 this sector will garner $5 billion in revenue and count 30 million users. 2021 projections, on the other hand, predict the number of mobile game users to reach 25.8 million, while revenue is forecast to hit $3.43 billion.
12. 79% of mobile games generate revenue through in-app purchases.
In the first quarter of 2021, Apple App Store and Google Play earned $31.8 and $36.7 billion respectively from in-app purchases.
In 2020, loot boxes, one of the ways used to generate in-app revenue, reached an estimated $15 billion. This number is projected to go up to $20.3 billion by 2025.
Global Mobile Gaming Stats
13. China had the highest share of mobile gaming revenue at 35% in 2020.
The US takes second place with a 20% share of total mobile gaming revenue, while Japan, South Korea and the UK follow with 11%, 5% and 4%. The rest of the world accounts for a quarter of global mobile game revenue.
14. Arena of Valor is the highest-grossing mobile game of all time.
Arena of Valor by Tencent Games comes in the lead with revenue of over $11 billion.
It’s followed by:
- Monster Strike, raking in $9.6 billion
- Puzzle & Dragons—$8.2+ billion
- Clash of Clans—$7.7+ billion
- Pokémon Go—$7.2+ billion
15. There were more than 13 billion mobile game downloads in the first quarter of 2020.
Downloads on Apple’s App Store saw a 35% increase, while Google’s Play Store saw a 38% rise—an all-time high for both app stores at the time.
India played a big part in this growth in downloads, with almost 966 million downloads in just one month.
Global spending on mobile apps reached nearly $31.8 billion in Q1 2021, or $20.4 and $11.4 billion for App Store and Google Play, accordingly. $22.2 billion of those $31.8 billion were contributed by mobile games—a 25% increase compared to the first quarter of 2020.
16. Puzzles are the top gaming genre by penetration and user retention.
Based on mobile game genres statistics, the top 5 by penetration rate are:
- Puzzle: 57.29%
- Arcade: 55.60%
- Action: 34.75%
- Racing: 31.31%
The top mobile game genres by user retention and OS are:
|iOS||Puzzle: 5.4%||Board: 5.2%||Educational:5.1%||Action: 5%||Arcade:4.9%|
|Android||Adventure: 3.2%||Puzzle:3.1%||RPG: 3.1%||Arcade:3%||Strategy:3%|
17. 73.1% of mobile game developers see their competition as their biggest hurdle.
Statistically, the second biggest challenge is the rising user acquisition cost, as 63.2% referred to this, while 47.5% cited rising marketing costs.
The least challenging problems seem to be the amount of free content (mentioned by 31.8%) and the rising development cost (27.8%).
18. Role-playing games make $0.66 per active user.
RPGs earn the most revenue per active user at $0.66. Adventure games are next in line with $0.50, followed by strategy games ($0.21 per active user). Casino and racing games are neck and neck at $0.19, taking the fourth and fifth spot.
19. Axie Infinity is currently the most successful blockchain game with 238,536 concurrent players.
Axie Infinity is the first of game built on Ethereum blockchain available for iOS and Android. Axie Infinity’s all-time NFT sales are currently at $3.1 billion. Its highest month in terms of sales so far was August 2021 at $848 million with 305,264 unique buyers.
Mobile gaming statistics from the UK and the rest of the world confirm the sector is becoming the highest-earning segment of the gaming market, beating PCs and digital consoles by both number of users and revenue generated. And with the number of mobile gamers set to reach 30 million by 2025 in the UK alone, there is no stopping the popularity of mobile gaming.