According to a report recently published by Flurry, revenues generated from mobile games have increased this year (53 percent growth, from $7.8 billion in Q1 2016 to $11.9 billion in Q1 2017), but the overall volume of gaming sessions have dropped 10 percent as compared to that of last year. Flurry’s report also states that the United States contributes the most number of mobile gaming sessions across the globe, claiming 20 percent of all sessions. Following the US are India, China, Brazil, and Russia. Despite the fact that the number of mobile gaming sessions has declined, the total time spent by mobile users playing games on their smartphones and tablet devices remains about the same.
It is interesting to note that the volume of mobile gaming sessions are down, despite the massive popularity of games such as last year’s monster hit Pokemon Go and more recently, Super Mario Run. Intriguingly, this does not mark the first occasion that Flurry has detected a drop in gaming activity -- back in January early this year, the mobile analytics firm actually reported about a 4 percent decrease in the time spent by users playing games on mobile devices.
Just to be perfectly clear, Flurry defines sessions as the number of times a mobile game is launched, and is a separate and different metric compared to the time spent playing. In a related twist, the time users spent being engaged in social media and messaging apps has grown a whopping 394 percent.
This year actually marks the second straight year in which Flurry has reported a year over year decline in the volume of mobile gaming sessions. Some believe that this is due to the inherent nature of mobile game titles, whose successes rarely carry over to later years. Sure, a huge hit like Pokemon Go will come along and grab everyone’s attention, but for the rest of the mobile apps released out there, majority of them will not be able to sustain their success in the next year or so.
Flurry’s report indicates that gaming categories themselves are suffering. Back in 2014, more than half of the mobile gaming sessions were driven by arcade, casual, and brain games. Fast forwarding to this year, those categories have seen significant declines in the amount of sessions -- arcade games used to account for 24 percent of all sessions, but its share has dropped by 34 percent. As for casual games, the category has decreased by 50 percent. And because no other gaming category has taken up the slack, the overall number of sessions was bound to fall.
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