Study: 65% of Americans and Canadians Play Mobile Games

Anna Wolfe
Senior Editor - Restaurants
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According to Deconstructing Mobile & Tablet Gaming, the latest report from The NPD Group, of the 303.7 million mobile users in the U.S. and Canada in 2020, 238.7 million are active mobile gamers, a 12% increase over 2019.

The U.S. and Canadian mobile gaming market saw significant growth in 2020, with mobile’s accessibility as a platform creating a go-to option for consumers looking for new or expanded entertainment options while under COVID-19 restrictions and lockdowns. Players are more engaged than ever before, with the average number of hours per week spent playing games on a smartphone or tablet increasing to eight hours in 2020 from six hours a week in 2019.

Gaming's Fastest Growing Demographic:  45+

The number of mobile gamers increased across all age groups, with those ages 45 and older climbing 17% over 2019, followed by the 25 to 44 age group with a 13% increase. The 2 to 12 and 13 to 24 age groups experienced respective increases of 9% and 3% over 2019.

Thirty-five percent of mobile gamers in the U.S. and Canada indicated that COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions have led them to increase their frequency of engagement, leading to a 12% increase in the number of consumers qualifying as active players.

"Mobile is the most popular platform in the video game industry, with wide and increasing appeal across all age groups,” said Mat Piscatella, games industry analyst for The NPD Group. “Its strength comes not only from its accessibility and availability, but also from the incredible diversity in mobile titles available. From evergreen properties such as Candy Crush Saga, Pokémon Go, and Clash of Clans, to newer hits like Call of Duty: Mobile, and Among Us, mobile gaming's growth is certain to continue well into the future."

All mobile gaming genres saw revenue growth in 2020, with 55% of revenue being generated by the top three genres: puzzle, skill & chance, and strategy. All genres saw growth in their revenue performance, with the strongest growth coming from skill & chance, RPG & narrative, puzzle, simulation, and action & fighting.

The report, done in collaboration with mobile app analytics firm Sensor Tower, examines the current state of the USA and Canadian mobile gaming market, including the gaming habits of current players ages 2 and older, and market performance trends.