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China led mobile game spending and downloads for 2023

Even with their country's restrictions in play, Chinese players kept spending money and downloading games for their phones.

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

January 10, 2024

1 Min Read
Characters from the game platform Roblox.
Image via Roblox Corp.

At a Glance

  • On a global level, mobile titles like Honkai: Star Rail and Roblox were extremely popular with players throughout 2023.

A new report from data.ai shows a slight dip in the mobile game industry in 2023. Player spending hit $107.31 billion last year (down 2 percent from 2022), continuing a downward trend that began in 2021.

Despite those decreases, it's up nearly 7 percent from 2020's $100.53 billion.

China led the charge on that front with $37.6 billion in player spending. It was followed by the US ($24 billion), Japan ($12.78 billion), South Korea ($6.34 billion), and Germany ($2.6 billion).

It also had the most downloads for 2023 at 29.32 billion. This may indicate the country's efforts at curbing playtime for younger players aren't as effective as its government hoped.

Globally, hypercasual puzzle and simulation were the most downloaded titles, at 16.4 billion and 10.5 billion, respectively. That lines up with Subway Surfers and Roblox being among the top downloaded titles for the year.

Genre-wise, RPGs like Genshin Impact had the most player spending at $24.5 billion. Strategy and casino games had less than half that at $10.7 billion and $10.2 billion each.

On a global scale, Evony made up the most of that global spending at 10.1 percent. Lineage M followed at 8.9 percent, followed by Honkai: Star Rail with 8.7 percent.

The report notes strategy and RPGs are extremely successful for monetization in the mobile space. Crossplay is becoming increasingly prominent in those games, which can further potential revenue opportunities.

Data.ai's full writeup of the mobile industry and its data can be found here.

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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