Mobile Games Generated More Than $40 Billion in 2016

First ever joint look at mobile, mobile VR and VR markets by
SuperData Research and Unity Technologies shows the category equaling
that of global box office sales during that time

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#VR–The mobile games market generated $40.6 billion in worldwide revenue in
2016 – a sum equivalent to all global box office sales during the same
time period – and grew 18% over the year before. Mobile games now
account for half of the entire global digital games market.

That’s according to a report, “Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop: The 2016 Mobile
Games Market” issued today by SuperData Research, the leading provider
of marketing intelligence for the playable media and digital gaming
industry, and Unity Technologies, the leading platform for creating
games and experiences in 2D, 3D, VR and AR.

The analysis, which examines the combined mobile, mobile VR and VR
markets, is the first to be issued jointly by the two companies and is
based upon data from both.

“The sustained growth of the global mobile games market is helping to
legitimize games in the traditional media landscape,” says Stephanie
Llamas, VP of Research and Strategy of SuperData Research. “The size of
the market is also attracting the leading players in the gaming market,
as can be seen with Activision’s Blizzard deal to buy King and Tencent
acquiring Supercell.”

According to the analysis by SuperData Research and Unity, Asia
represents the largest mobile games market in the world, producing $24.8
billion in revenue in 2016, while North America and Europe generated
$6.9 billion and $5.7 billion respectively.

The ever growing US mobile market also represents a tremendous
opportunity for marketers, as now Americans play mobile games more often
than they watch Netflix, Hulu, or YouTube. Americans spent 5% more year
over year on mobile games in 2016, and that number will continue to rise.

“Players are installing more apps than ever and are more engaged with
mobile games than TV and online videos,” shared John Cheng, General
Manager of Unity Analytics. “They play six days a week and watch content
only five. It’s been phenomenal to watch engagement on the different
mobile and VR platforms grow, and that trend will continue to increase
in the foreseeable future.”

From Q1 to Q4, the time spent on mobile games grew by 12% on iOS and 9%
on Android respectively, with gamers averaging almost 30 minutes of play
time each day. As consumers continue to spend more time playing on
mobile devices, the companies expect mobile gaming will continue to make
strides towards the mainstream, giving marketers and developers an even
greater opportunity to monetize this trend.

Additional findings from the report include:

  • 58% of mobile gamers play puzzle games, compared to 40% who play
    action games and 26% who play simulation games
    . Puzzle games don’t
    require high-level graphics and are ripe for on-the-go play.
  • However, action games represent 30% of the share of game installs
    by genre, while puzzle games represent 14%.
    Unlike puzzle games,
    action games are quick to play through, and retain players at 70% the
    rate that puzzle games do.
  • The U.S. is the only country with more players on iOS than Android. Android
    gamers represent 78% of the global market, but iOS continues to yield
    higher spending overall.
  • In the U.S., developers made on average 45% more on a player using
    iOS over Android, but in China, Android players were worth eight times
    more than iOS.
  • Indonesia tripled its potential for advertisers, seeing a 192%
    increase in installs in 2016.
    Spenders also play 84% more than the
    average Indian player, creating an undeniable opportunity for
  • Users engaged with VR more often than they did with games, movie,
    or TV.
    Mobile VR users engaged in 48 sessions per month, while
    PC/console users engaged in 36 sessions per month.
  • Total VR revenue in 2016 was $1.8B, with 6.3 million devices sold. Samsung
    Gear VR came out as the leader with 4.5M devices sold due to a low
    barrier to entry as compared to high-price competitors like Oculus.

For more information about SuperData Research, please visit
Additionally, please visit
for more information about Unity Technologies. A copy of the full report
is available here.

About SuperData

Founded by veteran games industry researchers, SuperData is the world’s
leading provider of market intelligence covering the global markets for
free-to-play games, digital console, mobile, PC, streaming media,
eSports, and virtual reality. Using digital point-of-sale data received
from publishers, developers and payment service providers, SuperData’s
analyses are based on the monthly spending of over 78 million paying
online gamers worldwide, in combination with qualitative consumer
insights. SuperData helps its customers understand what people play,
connect to, watch, and spend on.

About Unity Technologies

Unity Technologies is the creator of flexible and high-performance
end-to-end development platform used to create rich interactive 2D, 3D,
VR and AR experiences. Unity’s powerful graphics engine and
full-featured editor serve as the foundation to develop beautiful games
or apps and easily bring them to multiple platforms: mobile devices,
home entertainment systems, personal computers, and embedded systems.
Unity also offers solutions and services for creating games, boosting
productivity, and connecting with audiences including Unity Ads, Unity
Analytics, Unity Asset Store, Unity Cloud Build, Unity Collaborate,
Unity Connect and Unity Certification. Unity Technologies serves
millions of registered developers including large publishers, indie
studios, students and hobbyists around the globe. For more information,
to see the latest games and experiences created in Unity, go to:


Daddi Brand Communications for SuperData Research
Bill Daddi,
Public Relations for Unity Technologies
Melissa Sheridan,