Mobile Games Generated Over 25% More Direct Spending Than PC Games, and More Than Twice As Much As Home Console Games Last Year, According to New IDC and App Annie Report

Report also finds 18% of U.S. mobile and handheld gamers played an
Augmented Reality (AR) title such as Pokémon GO, and 3% played a Virtual
Reality (VR) game late last year

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. & SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#ARgames–Leading mobile app data and insights company App
and International Data Corporation (IDC),
the premier provider of technology market intelligence services, today
unveiled a special joint report entitled, Gaming Spotlight, 2016
. The report analyzes the mobile video games market in 2016
from several vantage points and puts it in a broader, global gaming
industry context.

“2016 was the best year yet for mobile games, with consumers spending
nearly 25% more than the year prior,” said Danielle Levitas, SVP of
Research at App Annie. “The breakout success of Pokémon GO propelled
mobile games further ahead of consoles, PC/Mac, and handheld consoles.
As augmented and virtual reality technologies continue to emerge, we
expect mobile will remain the largest revenue-generating platform for

Although games represented about 35% of total iOS App Store and Google
Play app downloads in 2016, games generated over 80% of combined direct
App Store and Google Play spending worldwide. As in previous years,
spending on iOS games was significantly higher than the Google Play
total, and was indeed higher than all Android-based stores put together,
last year.

The rise of China and Japan as global mobile gaming powerhouses was
evident in 2016. The top grossing iOS game globally last year was
Fantasy Westward Journey, published by China’s NetEase. The most
lucrative Google Play title was Monster Strike, published by Japan’s
Mixi. Gaming Spotlight, 2016 Review outlines the top five
grossing titles across iOS, Google Play and handheld game console
platforms for all of 2016. The top grossing handheld console title was
Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon for the Nintendo 3DS, published by Japan’s
The Pokémon Company.

For mobile games, Pokémon GO came in third in 2016 for total game spend
across iOS and Google Play, despite being available for only half the
year. The title generated about $950 million in direct spending in 2016.

Given the rising interest in mobile AR games such as Pokémon GO and in
mobile VR games like Mojang’s Minecraft Gear VR Edition and CCP’s
Gunjack, the Gaming Spotlight, 2016 Review also delves into this
topic in some detail based on a survey of over 4,600 mobile and handheld
gamers in United States in 3Q 2016. Two of the most notable takeaways
from this survey are that:

  • Approximately 24 million Americans played an AR game in September
    2016, and 56% of this gamer base was under 25 years of age (primarily
    reflecting Pokémon GO’s popularity among children and young adults).
  • About 4.5 million Americans played a VR title on their smartphone last
    September, and these gamers were fairly hardcore (46% played mobile
    games for >15 hours a week, 56% were male, and the group’s average
    consumer spend on mobile games was 42% above the total mobile/handheld
    gamer average spend in 3Q 2016).

“2016 was the breakout year for mobile AR games,” said Lewis
, research director of Gaming
and AR/VR
at IDC. “Since a quality mobile VR gaming experience generally requires
a separate hardware purchase such as a Gear VR or Google Daydream
viewer, it’s unlikely that mobile VR gaming in 2017 will replicate what
AR gaming achieved last year. The demographics of mobile VR gamers
nonetheless point to rapid revenue growth moving forward, and the fact
that a large share of mobile VR gamers also enjoy eSports content
implies that competitive multiplayer gaming will emerge as an important
mobile VR market driver – and help put some distance between the leading
suppliers and the competition.”

To obtain a copy of the full report please visit:

About IDC
International Data Corporation (IDC) is the
premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and
events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer
technology markets. With more than 1,100 analysts worldwide, IDC offers
global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry
opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. IDC’s analysis and
insight helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment
community to make fact-based technology decisions and to achieve their
key business objectives. Founded in 1964, IDC is a wholly-owned
subsidiary of International Data Group (IDG),
the world’s leading media, data and marketing services company. To learn
more about IDC, please visit
Follow IDC on Twitter at @IDC.

About App Annie
App Annie delivers the most trusted app data
and insights for your business to succeed in the global app economy.
Over 700,000 registered members rely on App Annie to better understand
the app market, their businesses and the opportunities around them. The
company is headquartered in San Francisco with 450 employees across 15
global offices. App Annie has received $157 million in financing,
including from investors such as, Greenspring Associates,
Greycroft Partners, IDG Capital Partners, Institutional Venture Partners
and Sequoia Capital. Learn more at


Lewis Ward, 508-988-7927
for App Annie
Shirer, 508-935-4200