75% of Pandemic-Driven Increase in Mobile Gaming Activity Will Persist Indefinitely, According to New IDC and LoopMe Report
More than 3 in 5 survey respondents increased their mobile gameplay time after the pandemic started, and 6% of mobile gamers were new, presenting an expanded opportunity for advertisers
LONDON and NEEDHAM, MA – June 8, 2021 – LoopMe, the outcomes-based advertising platform, and IDC, the premier global provider of technology market intelligence and advisory services, today announced the results of a global consumer survey that assessed how mobile gaming activity is likely to be affected after the COVID-19 pandemic subsides. The survey revealed a sharp increase in mobile gameplay since the pandemic began – 63% of respondents reported an increase in gameplay time, more-so in countries hard hit by COVID-19 – with an estimated 75% of the net rise in mobile gaming activity to remain after the “new normal” is established in the next two years.
IDC partnered with LoopMe to field and analyze a survey of mobile gamers in six countries, asking respondents about their existing gaming activities, as well as their intentions regarding future gameplay time commitments after the pandemic is largely in-hand in their native countries. The language-localized survey was fielded to approximately 3,850 smartphone users in the U.S., the U.K., Japan, Germany, Brazil and Singapore in April, and the results were analyzed in May 2021. These countries were selected, in part, to get a mix of high COVID-19 impact countries and low COVID-19 impact countries. Data were normalized to account for population and gender splits by country.
“Two of the clearest and most important signals we found in the survey results were that mobile gaming activity tended to increase more in the countries with the highest COVID-19 death rates, and that gamers in these same countries expected a larger pullback in gaming once the pandemic has subsided compared to gamers in countries that have had low COVID-19 death rates,” says Lewis Ward, IDC’s director of gaming and VR/AR. “This latter change, which should propagate globally in the next 12 to 24 months, will likely have important implications for game developers and publishers, as well as for those involved in mobile game advertising.”
Highlights of the new study include:
- In the six countries surveyed, more than two in three smartphone owners reported playing mobile games in recent months
- 63% of respondents increased their mobile gameplay time after the pandemic began
- A correlation was found between increased mobile gameplay time commitments and local pandemic effects (specifically, the per capita COVID-19 death rate)
- 3 in 4 mobile gamers reported playing to be entertained or just to pass the time; 4% said they were playing to engage in “safe” virtual social interactions that are supported by live multiplayer games especially; more broadly, it appears live multiplayer mobile games outperformed in 2020
- 6% of today’s mobile gamer community didn’t play prior to the pandemic; these new gamers appeared to skew male and a few years younger in age than the broader base of pre-pandemic mobile gamers
- After the pandemic is largely over (presumably late 2022 in most countries), it appears that 25% of the net increase in mobile gaming activity induced by the pandemic will dissipate and 75% of the net rise will remain indefinitely; this “new normal” will vary substantively by country, however, partly based on the severity of the local pandemic
- Largely due to pandemic effects, the worldwide base of gamers that played on a smartphone or slate tablet monthly jumped 12% in 2020 compared to 2019, to roughly 2.25 billion last year
- A majority of mobile gamers make critical buying decisions for their households
“From a brand advertiser perspective, one particularly interesting takeaway from the survey was that mobile gamers have significant general purchasing power and are making critical buying decisions for their households,” said Rachel Conforti, VP of Marketing, LoopMe. “This presents a rich opportunity for brand advertisers to leverage in-game mobile placements within their overall ad spend in order to reach decision-making consumers where they are spending a lot of their time – playing games on their smartphones and tablets.”
International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. With more than 1,100 analysts worldwide, IDC offers global, regional, and local expertise on technology, IT benchmarking and sourcing, and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. IDC’s analysis and insight helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community to make fact-based technology decisions and to achieve their key business objectives. Founded in 1964, IDC is a wholly owned subsidiary of International Data Group (IDG), the world’s leading tech media, data, and marketing services company. To learn more about IDC, please visit www.idc.com. Follow IDC on Twitter at @IDC and LinkedIn. Subscribe to the IDC Blog for industry news and insights.
LoopMe, the leading outcomes-based platform, closes the loop on digital advertising. By leveraging AI to optimize media delivery in real-time, we drive measurable uplift for business outcomes and more effective advertising across online and offline marketing goals, including brand lift, purchase intent, consideration, foot traffic and sales. LoopMe was founded in 2012 with the mission to create better consumer experiences through innovation, powered by data, in order to bring people and brands together. The company is headquartered in the UK, with 11 global offices across New York, Boston, Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Toronto, Singapore, Dnipro (Ukraine) and Hong Kong. For more information, please visit www.loopme.com.
Michael Shirer, IDC