Open Menu Close Menu


Mobile Gaming on the Rise — Even Beyond Pandemic

The beginning of the pandemic came with a surge in mobile gameplay: According to a new report, nearly two-thirds of gamers increased the amount of time they played. And the majority of that activity will continue beyond the pandemic.

There was an increase in new players as well. The report from market research firm IDC and LoopMe, “What Mobile Gaming's 'New Normal' Should Look Like After the COVID-19 Pandemic,” found that 6 percent of mobile gamers had not played mobile games before the pandemic.

According to the report: “Largely due to pandemic effects, the worldwide base of gamers that played on a smartphone or slate tablet monthly jumped 12 percent in 2020 compared to 2019, to roughly 2.25 billion last year.”

The report was based on a survey of 3,850 mobile phone users across multiple countries, including the United States. Much of the increase in gameplay correlated with the severity of the impact of COVID-19 on a national basis. According to the report: “63 percent of respondents reported an increase in gameplay time, more-so in countries hard hit by COVID-19 — with an estimated 75 percent of the net rise in mobile gaming activity to remain after the "new normal" is established in the next two years.”

"Two of the clearest and most important signals we found in the survey results were that mobile gaming activity tended to increase more in the countries with the highest COVID-19 death rates, and that gamers in these same countries expected a larger pullback in gaming once the pandemic has subsided compared to gamers in countries that have had low COVID-19 death rates," said Lewis Ward, director of gaming and VR/AR research at IDC, in a prepared statement. "This latter change, which should propagate globally in the next 12 to 24 months, will likely have important implications for game developers and publishers...."

For more details, visit IDC’s site.

About the Author

David Nagel is the former editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal, STEAM Universe, and Spaces4Learning. A 30-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art, marketing, media, and business publications.

He can be reached at [email protected]. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at .

comments powered by Disqus