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Unity report shows sharp decline of in-app mobile spending during 2022's end

Unity's data indicates saw that 2022 was a challenging year for mobile game revenue—a trend that might continue into 2023.

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

June 13, 2023

1 Min Read
Logo for software developer Unity.

New data from a Unity report on monetization and growth in the mobile game space indicates that starting in late 2022, players began spending less money on in-app purchases in mobile games.

As Unity noted in the report's opening pages, there was a "softness" for both in-app purchases and in-app ads during the back half of 2022. 

That drop in spending is partly notable because of the overlap with holiday season. Unity's report indicates that across North and South America, in-app revenue remained fairly steady throughout the year, with the engine maker "observing" players spending $250 million on in-app purchases each month.

That's until you hit October, when the spending falls to just under $200 million per month. Those declines continued into December.

In Asian-Pacific (APAC) and Europe/Middle East (EMEA) regions during the same period, that percentage was lower. APAC fell to almost $150 million by the end of 2022, and EMEA fell under $100 million. 

That decline is further reflected in the percentage of iOS and Android users spending money in-game. Both platforms saw a decline in the average amount of spending players during the same time period. The peak of each platform's spending users capped out at 1 percent of players—and both platforms saw the percentage of paying users slide to around .75 percent of players by the end of the year.

The full mobile growth and monetization report from Unity can be read here. Beyond the data above, the report features additional insight on in-app spending, including monetization strategies for players who have already been onboarded.

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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