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The latest reports from Data.ai suggests that mobile gaming’s new normal is a much higher plateau than it was in the pre-pandemic years. The company released both its Q1 Gaming Index and its State of Mobile Gaming 2023 reports this week, and both indicate that the mobile games market is stabilizing in the years after the pandemic-era boom.
The Q1 Index predicts that gamers will spend more than $1.6 Billion a week on games in the first quarter of this year. That’s about a 28% increase on spending from pre-pandemic levels, which is around Q1 2020. They’re also downloading games at a rate of 1.2 billion titles per week globally. The numbers aren’t as high as they were in peak-pandemic periods, such as Q1 in 2021 or 2022, but they are above where they were at the beginning of worldwide shutdowns.
The report also notes that the two top games by global downloads have not changed: Subway Surfers and Free Fire are still at the top. However, the rest of the list has shifted in the last few months. New titles like Football League 2023 and Gardenscapes: New Acres jumped to the list from relatively low starting positions. Sim game Uma Musume Pretty Derby also made the list of top games by consumer spend thanks to an anniversary promotion.
In the company’s second report, the State of Mobile Gaming report, it noted that in-game consumer spending on apps declined slightly in 2022, and there were fewer new releases on the market. This is likely the result of the market stabilizing after peak-pandemic highs. The report also notes that, while consumer spend in mobile gaming dropped by 5% in 2022, downloads actually increased.