Report: Mobile gaming revenue grew to nearly $45 billion in the first half of 2021

Fallout 4 Xbox Game Pass Android Hero
Fallout 4 Xbox Game Pass Android Hero (Image credit: Jennifer Locke / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Global app spending across the Google Play Store and App Store approached $65 billion in the first half of 2021.
  • Likewise, mobile game spending grew to $44.7 billion in the first half of 2021, an 18% increase year over year.
  • Most of the top downloads include casual games, but Call of Duty: Mobile and PUBG Mobile made the list as well.

Mobile gaming is booming, as evidenced by a report from Sensor Tower. According to the tracking service, mobile gaming revenue grew to $44.7 billion in the first half of 2021, which represents an 18% increase year over year.

Though this is an impressive number, it also trails the growth that happened last year, partially attributed to the surging demand during the COVID-19 pandemic. For comparison, revenue climbed nearly 26% from 2019 to 2020, going from $30.2 billion to $37.9 billion in a similar timeframe.

The reports also notes that "although Google Play's marketplace didn't generate as much mobile gaming revenue as Apple's, it maintained the same Y/Y growth as seen in the first half of 2020, climbing 24.7 percent to $18.7 billion from $15 billion in the year-ago period."

Tencent's offerings topped downloads and revenue lists alongside titles like Pokémon Go, PUBG Mobile, Roblox, Genshin Impact, Call of Duty: Mobile, and Among Us. People are continuing to download some of the best Android games available, and there are only more on the way with Apex Legends Mobile, Pokémon Unite, and plenty more.

Cloud gaming services like Xbox Game Pass for Android only continue to make mobile gaming more popular across the world, so we'll likely see growth like this for years to come. There's been a shift bringing high-quality AAA experiences to mobile devices, and that won't stop anytime soon.

Jennifer Locke
Games Editor - PlayStation, Android, VR

Jennifer Locke has been playing video games nearly her entire life. You can find her posting pictures of her dog and obsessing over PlayStation and Xbox, Star Wars, and other geeky things.