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NPD: Growth of mobile gamers slows while revenue continues rising

Research firm finds number of US and Canada mobile users playing games was up just 2% last year, but revenues jumped 24% to more than $11.82 billion

The mobile gaming population in the US and Canada seems to be nearing saturation, but that hasn't stopped revenues from climbing. That's according to the industry-tracking NPD Group, which today released information from its Deconstructing Mobile & Tablet Gaming 2020 report.

According to the report -- conducted in collaboration with Sensor Tower and based on a survey of 5,000 active mobile gamers in the US and Canada -- the number of mobile gamers in the two countries grew 2% year-over-year in 2019 to 214.1 million. While still growing, the pace of growth has slowed; in 2018, the number was up 5 percent from the previous year.

Despite that, the collective mobile gamer community in the two countries has upped its spending considerably. Mobile game revenues in the two countries were up 24 percent year-over-year, totaling more than $11.82 billion. More than half of that was attributed to three genres -- puzzle, skill/chance, and strategy -- but gains were found across all genres.

"Mobile gaming continues to be a dynamic and expanding market, offering appealing content to all types of game players," NPD Group analyst Mat Piscatella said. "New hit games in 2019, such as Call of Duty: Mobile, and Mario Kart Tour, along with the launch of the Apple Arcade and Google Play Pass subscription services, are just some examples of the breadth and depth of mobile gaming's rapid evolution and why it remains gaming's largest, and most diverse, platform."

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Brendan Sinclair avatar
Brendan Sinclair: Brendan joined in 2012. Based in Toronto, Ontario, he was previously senior news editor at GameSpot.
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