Report: Mobile Gaming is Rebounding

Unity, developer of the popular Unity game engine, released its 2023 Gaming ReportThe big takeaway is that mobile gaming  appears set for at least a modest comeback.

A Rising Tide
Unity studios are gleefully diving back into mobile gaming, with large studios (300+ people) reporting a 44% increase in mobile-only production and upper midmarket studios (150-299 people) reporting over a 10% increase. In the past 18 months or so, mobile gaming has taken its lumps, from a slowing economy to ad data policy changes from Apple. It seems many publishers are once again moving toward mobile games and their frequent recurring revenue streams as overall game industry spending stalls.

  • Games are gaining longer lifespans, with 2022's median game age increasing 33% YoY.
  • Larger studios, and by extension larger titles, tend to support games longer.
More Multi-platform Releases
Console and PC gamers need not worry, however, as Unity studios also reported a 16% YoY increase in multi-platform projects, with 88% of studios with 50 or more people developing multi-platform titles. Again, this growth is being heavily driven by larger studios interested in AAA (or as close to that as possible) releases.
  • PC is the preferred platform for multiplatform developers (76%).
  • 70% of studios that develop games for consoles also target PC.
  • 77% of indie studios opt for PC, despite mobile gaming's growth in recent years.
Mobile Gamers are Returning, but Frugally
The good news for mobile gaming at the moment is daily active users in 2022 increased 8% YoY; the bad news is the rate of paying active users slipped 2% (this also doesn’t take inflation into account). Overall, fewer gamers are watching ads and spending money, which could have implications on how games are monetized down the road.
  • Microtransactions (31%) and ads (32%) are the most popular monetization models with mobile gamers.

    Featured Image: Unity