This IDC Market Presentation characterizes the global mobile (smartphone and slate tablet) and handheld game console (i.e., Nintendo 3DS/2DS) marketplace in 2018 and places it in a broader gaming industry context. This IDC Market Presentation compares mobile handheld console gaming from several vantage points, notes key new trends that emerged last year, and identifies the top-grossing games and, for iOS and Google Play, identifies the top 10 mobile game publishers from a direct game spending and download angle in 2018.
IDC established a relationship with the mobile app analytics provider App Annie in 2012. App Annie tracks iOS and Google Play downloads, consumer spending, and related metrics in particular depth. Together with IDC's handheld game console coverage and associated surveys, it's possible to create a concise but comprehensive view of portable gaming by major geographic region in 2018, which is the goal of this presentation.
"There appears to have been an important and impactful bifurcation in the mobile games market last year between publishers that primarily focused on direct gamer monetization models and those that primarily focused on in-game ad business models," says Lewis Ward, IDC's research director of gaming and AR/VR. "If this trend gets clearer in 2019, and if ad-based business model in particular advances appreciably, it likely signals the beginning of a sea change — and probably a choice that most suppliers will have to make — in terms of how mobile games are monetized."