Pixel P&L: Mobile Games Are Approaching Unprecedented Levels of Dominance

New report highlights mobile gaming's revenue surge

Vignesh Raghuram
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<div class="paragraphs"><p>Pixel P&amp;L</p></div>
Pixel P&amp;L


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Good Morning! It’s Thursday, June 6. Today, we delve into a groundbreaking report revealing that mobile games have secured half of the global games market revenue. Additionally, we also uncover the Saudi Esports Federation latest move into the Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Professional League MENA ecosystem, and more.

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Mobile Games Capture Half of Global Market Revenue in 2023

Mobile games accounted for nearly half of the total revenue generated by the global games market in 2023, amassing $90.4 billion, according to Adjust's latest report. The 2024 Mobile App Trends report, which analyzed data from January 2022 to January 2024, revealed a 6% year-over-year increase in in-app revenue for game apps, despite a 2% decrease in overall consumer spending, which totaled $107 billion.

Top-performing games in terms of consumer spending included Candy Crush Saga, Honour of Kings, Roblox, Royal Match, and Coin Master. Adjust forecasts a significant rise in advertising expenditure, predicting it will reach $103 billion in 2024 and $131 billion by 2025.

Despite these financial gains, the report noted a global decline in mobile game installs and sessions by 2% and 7% respectively. However, Q4 2023 bucked this trend with installs experiencing a 7% year-over-year increase. The Latin America region saw the most substantial growth at 19%, followed by EMEA (12%), North America (6%), and APAC (3%).

In terms of worldwide downloads in 2023, Subway Surfers led the pack, followed by Free Fire, Roblox, Ludo King, and Candy Crush Saga. The action genre dominated the install charts, capturing an 18% share, with hyper-casual and puzzle games closely trailing at 14% each.

Saudi Esports Federation Backs MPL MENA Playoffs in Riyadh

Moonton Games, the creator of Mobile Legends: Bang Bang (MLBB), has forged a strategic partnership with the Saudi Esports Federation (SEF) for its MPL MENA league. This collaboration comes ahead of the Season 5 Playoffs, slated for June 13-15 at the VOV Gaming venue in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

The agreement sees the SEF sponsoring travel and visa expenses for players participating in the playoffs, underscoring Saudi Arabia's growing investment in esports. The MPL MENA, now in its fifth season, has shifted to a seasonal format to allow winners to compete in the Mid-Season Cup at the Esports World Cup.

Despite its relatively modest viewership, MPL MENA has secured two direct slots for the Mid-Season Cup. This move highlights Moonton’s ambition to elevate the league's profile on the global stage.

Jaime Cruz, Head of Esports for Middle East & Africa at Moonton, expressed optimism about the partnership, emphasizing the shared commitment to expanding esports in emerging markets like Saudi Arabia. “The rapid growth of MLBB esports in regions like Saudi Arabia, coupled with our shared commitment, makes us confident the league will soar to greater heights this season,” Cruz said.

The MPL MENA Season 5 Playoffs will feature a $100,000 prize pool, with the top two teams advancing to the Mid-Season Cup. The playoffs will take place at the VOV Gaming venue, a facility owned by the Saudi government-backed Savvy Games Group.

Quick Bytes

IOC and ESIC Unite to Tackle Corruption in Esports

The Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) have announced a collaboration to combat corruption in esports. The IOC’s Olympic Movement Unit for the Prevention of the Manipulation of Competitions (OM Unit PMC) will aid in developing strategies to enhance esports integrity, with ESIC providing advisory support. 

Japan Unveils Ambitious Plan to Quadruple Anime and Gaming Exports by 2033

Japan aims to expand its overseas market for anime, games, and other creative industries to 20 trillion yen ($129 billion) by 2033, quadrupling the current level, according to the government's new Cool Japan Strategy unveiled Tuesday. This initiative sets a broader goal to generate 50 trillion yen ($322 billion) annually by 2033 from Cool Japan-related industries, including exports of cultural content, agriculture, fashion, makeup, and inbound tourism. In 2022, overseas sales of Japan’s content creation industry reached 4.7 trillion yen ($30 billion), rivaling the export value of the country's steel industry. The government plans to support new talent, address unfair trade practices, and combat piracy to bolster this sector.

Marcos Gaming and TWOB Sign Rosters to Compete in Made-in-India Indus Battle Royale

Pune-based SuperGaming’s Indus Inferno finale concluded successfully, marking a significant milestone for Indian esports. Team MOGGERS claimed the grand prize of ₹2.5 lakhs and the Champions trophy. Notably, Marcos Gaming and TWOB signed rosters for Indus, reflecting growing interest in the homegrown battle royale game. The event drew scouts from over ten leading esports organizations, resulting in two roster signings and ongoing discussions with other teams. 

Indian Game Detective Dotson to Debut at Future Games Show Summer Showcase

Ahmedabad-based Masala Games’ Detective Dotson has been selected for the prestigious Future Games Show Summer Showcase, making it the only made-in-India game to be featured. To mark this achievement, a new gameplay trailer will debut during the event. The showcase, a key platform for emerging game developers, will be hosted by Roger Clark (Arthur Morgan from Red Dead Redemption 2) and Britt Baron (Tifa from FFVII Rebirth and Justine from Netflix's GLOW), with Hindi subtitles available. Detective Dotson, a mystery adventure game set in modern-day India, can now be wishlisted on Steam.

Did You Know?

In 1982, the first recorded death linked to video gaming occurred when 18-year-old Peter Bukowski suffered a fatal heart attack while playing the arcade game "Berzerk." On April 3rd, Bukowski, an honor student from South Holland, Illinois, visited Friar Tuck's Game Room in Calumet City after a day of trudging through snow. Despite experiencing shortness of breath, he played "Berzerk" and achieved high scores. Shortly after, he collapsed and was pronounced dead at the hospital.

An autopsy revealed Bukowski had Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy (ARVC), a congenital condition causing heart muscle to be replaced with scar tissue and fat. The coroner determined the heart attack resulted from pre-existing heart scarring, noting any exertion could have triggered the event. The combination of physical exertion, caffeine, and the excitement of the game likely precipitated the attack.

This incident has evolved into an urban legend, often misreported and embellished, suggesting players encountering the game's antagonist, Evil Otto, may face real-world dangers, including death.

Quote of the Day

The human organism always worships. First it was the gods, then it was fame (the observation and judgment of others), next it will be the self-aware systems you have built to realize truly omnipresent observation and judgment."
- Morpheus, Deus Ex

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Vignesh has been covering the esports industry for nearly 5 years starting with the early days of the DPC. His industry expertise includes experience in Dota 2, CS:GO and Mobile Esports coverage.