6 min read

What Should Be the Next Move for Mobile Game Developers and Publishers (Report)

I am sharing the data from some recent reports in the mobile game/app industry, and providing some insights based on my experience and analysis.

Newzoo released 2017 Global Mobile Market Report (1) picturing an overview of the global mobile user behaviors. I am sharing the data from the report, and providing some insights based on my experience and analysis.

Overall, the global mobile market has been growing and is estimated to continue with current trend. As I mentioned in my previous article (2), the mobile market has been growing rapidly and becomes more mature. The number of smartphone users was 2.3 billion globally, or 31% of the global population. According to the estimation from Newzoo, the smartphone population will grow to 3.6 billion in 2020, using 4.2 billion smartphone devices.

(Source: Newzoo 2017)


The data from Statista, even though with slightly different number, supports the growing trend (3).

Number of smartphone users worldwide from 2014 to 2020 in billions (Source: Statista 2017)


As we can see from the statistics from Newzoo, China has the largest smartphone population. In 2017, there are 717 million smartphone users actively using the smartphone devices.

In 2016, both India and US had around 200 million of active smartphone users (4). This year, with 300 million users in India and 226 million in US, India surpassed the U.S. to become the second largest smartphone market worldwide and the gap between the two countries will increase.

(Source: Newzoo 2017)


At the end of 2016, the number of smartphone users in the top 100 largest mobile markets accounted for more than 98% of all smartphone users globally, using 2.8 billion smartphones and 260 million tablets. Among these 260 million active tablets, Samsung and Apple, ranked as the top 2 most owned device manufacturers, together have 89% market share.

(Source: Newzoo 2017)


In terms of revenue, from my article last year (5), we learned that China has been the largest iOS App Store market since Q3 2016. This year, the global app market will reach $56.4 billion USD and China is expected to share more than 16.4 billion USD, or 29% of the total.

Following Asia-Pacific region, North America and European markets are expected to reach $10.6 billion and $8.5 billion in app revenue respectively.

(Souce: Newzoo 2017)


What noticeable is that, 82% of the total global app market revenue will come from mobile games, which is $46.1 billion USD. Revenues from mobile games is estimated to grow to $65.0 billion in year 2020.

(Souce: Newzoo 2017)


By looking at the figure and trend, we can tell that the global mobile market is growing in terms of population and revenue. For game developers, the opportunity from mobile market is huge since 82% of the global mobile revenue comes from mobile games. Although the issue of mobile device fragmentation still exists (6), it’s not as problematic while people are more leaning towards Samsung’s and Apple’s mobile devices nowadays. The two market leaders together account for 56% of the total number of smartphones that are currently in use worldwide. Besides, Smartphone dominates the mobile devices over tablets. That means if game developer optimize their game product to the popular mobile devices from Samsung, they might have a better chance to cover a wide enough area of the Android market. Of course, for game developers to make the most out of their product in the Android market, they should put more effort on handling the device fragmentation issue (6). Those data also suggest that game developers should optimize their game products to emphasis on the user experience on smartphones than on tablets.

Regarding different mobile game markets by regions, China market is still the most important one. Other than that, game developers and publishers should start thinking about India some time in the future, as it overtook the U.S. becoming the world’s second-biggest smartphone market in terms of user population. App Annie also states the high numbers of app downloads in India (7). However, the biggest challenge for India is generating revenues from those downloads. The estimation from Q4 2016 is that in 2020, India market would reach 1.1billion USD (8). So for India, there is still a journey to go before it becomes a remarkable revenue generator, but game developers and publishers should keep an eye on this highly potential market and make your move before it gets dominated by those big game companies.

You can download the original report from here.


  1. Newzoo 2017 Global Mobile Market Report
  2. Things to Learn from 2016 Global Mobile Market and Actions to Take in 2017
  3. Number of Smartphone Users Worldwide from 2014 to 2020
  4. Newzoo 2016 Free Global Mobile Market Report
  5. Why and How Should Western Game Developers Start Thinking China
  6. Resolve Device Fragmentation by Test Automation
  7. Indian Mobile Gaming Revenues Will Reach $1.1 Billion by 2020
  8. India's Mobile Games Market Is Growing Rapidly, But Revenues Are Still Playing Catch Up


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About Seasun Inc 

Seasun is a leading Chinese online games publisher focused on creating high quality games/game engines that push the boundaries of player experience in action entertainment. The company is also involved in small-medium sized investments for game studios worldwide. We have recently started up our U.S. studio in Redwood City, CA to create top quality content for the western market.

Seasun has shipped many successful titles, including the popular MMORPG series JX (, the MMOARPG titles First Myth ( and CQ (, along with our FPS MAT ( The “JX” series has grossed more than $250 million and has achieved a daily active user count of 3.3 million. We are currently building a special team of highly talented people to create the technology for our next-generation MMOARPG at this studio.

About Magic Fuel Games 

Founded in 2015 and based in San Francisco’s East Bay, Magic Fuel Games is focusing on developing games that capture the imagination of players. With a core team of industry veterans, bringing decades of development and AAA experience from games that have captivated gamers around the world. The company's Series A was funded by Seasun Inc in February 2016 and has been growing its team and developing its 1st product since then.

About Kingsoft

Kingsoft, Seasun’s parent company, is publicly traded in the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (SEHK: 3888) with market value of 3.8 billion USD. Kingsoft has created 3 other subsidiaries alongside Seasun: Cheetah Mobile (NYSE: CMCM), WPS Office, and Kingsoft Cloud Service. Kingsoft has over 4,000 employees worldwide.


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