Increase in Mobile Gaming to Persist Beyond Pandemic
There was a surge in mobile gameplay when the pandemic began.
According to a new report, nearly two-thirds of gamers increased the
amount of time they played. And the majority of that activity will
continue beyond the pandemic.
There was an increase in new players as well. The report from market
research firm IDC and LoopMe,
Mobile Gaming's 'New Normal' Should Look Like After the COVID-19
Pandemic,” found that 6% of mobile gamers had not played mobile
games before the pandemic.
According to the report: “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
The report was based on a survey of 3,850 mobile phone users across
multiple countries, including the United States. Much of the increase
in gameplay correlated with the severity of the impact of COVID-19 on
a national basis. According to the report: “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.”
"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," said Lewis Ward, director of
Gaming and VR/AR research at IDC, in a prepared statement. "This
latter change, which should propagate globally in the next 12 to 24
months, will likely have important implications for game developers
details can be found on IDC’s site.
About the Author
David Nagel is editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Technology Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal and STEAM Universe. A 29-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art and business publications.
He can be reached at [email protected]. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at or follow him on Twitter at @THEDavidNagel (K-12) or @CampusTechDave (higher education).