2 in 3 Play Mobile Games

February 9, 2021

NPDGroup Growth in Mobile Gamers in 2020 Feb2021One of the many things smartphones brought to mobile users is the sophistication of games made available to play on their phones. Gone are the days of playing Snake on a Nokia – now iPhone and Android apps offer a wealth of games that have led to 65% of Americans and Canadians becoming mobile gamers, per data [press release] from The NPD Group.

Indeed, the data reveals that in 2020 238.7 million of the 303.7 million mobile users in the US and Canada were active mobile gamers. This is an increase of 12% over 2019.

What’s more, the age group with the largest growth in mobile gamers last year was those ages 45 and older. This group of mobile gamers grew by 17% year-over-year (y-o-y). This aligns with other data from The NPD Group that shows that older adults in the US have increased their time playing video games, in general, during the past year.

Adults ages 25-44 also saw an above-average increase in their number of active mobile gamers in 2020, growing 13% over 2019. Coincidentally, a survey of US adults found that 40% of mobile gamers between the ages of 25 and 34 and 25% of those ages 35-44 self-identified as gamers.

Perhaps due to their already large base, mobile gamers ages 13-24 only grew by 3% y-o-y, while the number of mobile gamers ages 2-12 grew by 9%.

COVID-19 has had an impact on mobile game playing. More than one-third (35%) of the gamers surveyed say they have increased their frequency of engagement with mobile games due to lockdowns and other related restrictions.

The type of games these gamers have been playing the most appear to be puzzle, skill & chance and strategy games. The NPD Group reports that more than half (55%) of mobile game revenue was generated from these three game genres.

About the Data: Findings are based on a survey of 5,000 active US and Canada mobile gamers (ages 2+), fielded in October 2020.


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