Report: Mobile gaming makes up nearly 75 percent of global mobile revenue during first half of 2019

A new Sensor Tower report reveals that gaming made up approximately $29.6 billion of mobile revenue during 2019's first half, or approximately 75 percent of $39.7 billion total.

Mobile gaming is more popular than ever, financially speaking. Last week, analytics firm Sensor Tower revealed mobile users spent a combined $29.6 billion globally on mobile games on the iOS App Store and Google Play during Q1 and Q2 2019, or approximately 75 percent of all mobile purchases.

During H1 2019, mobile users spent $39.7 billion on mobile apps and games, with 15.4% year-over-year increase from H1 2018. While Tinder was the biggest earner among H1 2019’s non-gaming mobile apps with $497 million in revenue, gamers invested significantly more money on their favorite titles. In Q1 and Q2 2019, Tencent's Honor of Kings dominated the global mobile gaming market with $728 million in revenue. Sony Aniplex's Fate/Grand Order landed a close second at $628 million. Overall, revenue on mobile games increased by 11.3 percent between H1 2018 and H1 2019, with new mobile games installs reaching 20.1 billion.

Other popular games include Mixi's Monster Strike, King's Candy Crush Saga, and Tencent's PUBG Mobile, which rounded out the top five gaming titles based on revenue. Among those earners, two are published by Chinese gaming giant Tencent, with two others hailing from Japan. Only one mobile app, Candy Crush Saga, comes from the west. China and Japan’s success with gaming revenue shouldn’t be taken lightly; both countries are clearly tapped into consumer demands on both a domestic and global level.

Granted, new games may struggle to hold up to mobile’s heavyweights. In terms of in-game purchases, Niantic’s Harry Potter: Wizards Unite underperformed during its launch week compared to predecessor Pokémon Go. The games industry may be one of the most profitable mediums on smartphones, but it takes time and luck to create a userbase willing to invest their money into microtransactions.

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Ana Valens is a games journalist from Brooklyn, New York. Her coverage at specializes in player-developer relations, long-term business trends, and gender issues in the gaming industry. Alongside her frequent contributions to GameDaily, her work has appeared at the Daily Dot, Dot Esports, Waypoint, Rolling Stone's Glixel, and Fanbyte.