Just prior to Christmas (22 December 2015) the games market research firm NewZoo released a report: The Mobile Gaming Landscape in 2015. It provides a great overview of the state and growth of gaming around the world.

  • China, with 21.7% of the global total, is now the world’s largest market in mobile revenue.
  • Annual growth was greatest in developing markets: Middle East/Africa (MEA), Latin America, Southeast Asia and China (between 46-83%).
  • Developed markets, including North America, Europe, Oceania, Eastern Europe, Korea and Japan are all growing, but at far more modest annual rates (5-15%).

Let’s look at these points in more detail.

china-number-oneChina, with a 21.7% share of global mobile revenue ($6.5 billion), has finally edged out Japan (20.6%, $6.2B) and the United States (20%, $6B). Together, these three markets account for over 60% of the global marketplace. No other single country comes close to this scale.

While it is the absolutely largest market, SuperData, another mobile game market research firm, points out China still lags Japan and Korea in terms of money spent per user and conversion rates. SuperData also notes India, while it doesn’t even place in the top ten today, is Asia’s fastest growing market, and is poised to nearly triple from 2015 to 2018 to $1.2 billion.

Also important to observe is that Asia is no longer the fastest growing region in the world. That honor now rests with the Middle East / Africa (MEA), with a nearly 83% annual growth rate. Latin America is not far behind, with nearly 73% growth year-over-year. South Asia is growing at over 69%, and China at 46.5%.The development of mobile gaming in these markets is because skipping a generation of technology. Penetration of PCs and game consoles was never that great in developing markets. For instance, there are government restrictions on game consoles in China. But just about everyone has a mobile phone. In fact, there are three times more mobile gamers in China than PC gamers — an incredible 365 million smartphone gamers.

If you are planning on releasing your game in China, you might also be interested in this report from NewZoo on the difference between the iOS and Android mobile game markets in China.