- Mobile gaming jumped 24% in two weeks as people grow more reliant on their smartphones for entertainment during the coronavirus pandemic. Almost half (45%) of U.S. consumers said they're playing new mobile games on their smartphones, per survey results that AdColony shared with Mobile Marketer.
- Two-thirds (66%) of survey respondents said they're playing mobile games they already had more frequently, a gain of 30% from March 10 to March 23, when AdColony conducted its tracking surveys. One-third (33%) of consumers said they play games on their smartphones multiple times a day, a gain of 8% during the study periods.
- About a quarter (23%) of people said they play mobile games before going to bed at night, while 32% said they stream other media during their gaming sessions. Two-thirds (66%) of respondents said they're watching more streamed entertainment, a 41% jump in the two-week period tracked by AdColony.
While most advertisers have adjusted or paused their ad spend because of the pandemic, they still have an opportunity to reach consumers who are spending time in isolation playing mobile games, including those that carry in-app ads or virtual purchases, as AdColony's survey suggests. As the pandemic forces mobile marketers to adjust their strategies, mobile gaming can provide a way to reach consumers who rely on their smartphones for entertainment and social interaction. Eighty-one percent of respondents said they cut back on in-person social activities, making their mobile devices a key way to remain connected with others.
For game developers, the jump in mobile gaming is an opportunity to showcase their latest apps with online marketing campaigns. Mobile gaming in the U.S. is likely to increase even more as many areas extend their stay-at-home orders or enact stricter rules on social distancing. China last month experienced a 62% surge from a year earlier in game downloads from Apple's App Store as mobile users looked for more entertainment, per Sensor Tower data cited by Reuters. China's growth drove a 39% global jump in mobile game downloads during the month as people boosted their smartphone usage during the pandemic.
The global health crisis led game developer Niantic this month to revamp its strategy for "Pokémon Go," whose location-based gameplay typically urges people to explore their physical surroundings. Because of greater safety concerns with the pandemic, Niantic this month reworked the game for indoor play and saw a 67% weekly jump in global spending to $23 million from the prior seven-day period.