According to a report by mobile market analyst Flurry Analytics, mobile gaming sessions have declined by 10 percent year-over-year but time spent in gaming apps has remained steady over the last year (+1 percent).
It says that users who play games on full-size tablets spend about 4 minutes longer per session compared to medium-sized phones.
Similarly, more users access gaming apps on tablet devices during the evening, when they are "couch gaming" at home. Smartphones are still the preferred device for on-the-go gaming.
Flurry pointed out that the average US consumer now spends 33 minutes per day in mobile games, and the average session length rose to 7 minutes and 6 seconds in 2017. So while gamers are opening gaming apps less often, they are spending more time playing them during each session.
The top 5 mobile gaming countries (United States, India, China, Brazil, and Russia) are driving 50 percent of all global gaming sessions. While the United States, India, and China take the top positions for gaming sessions, other countries are also showing a growing percentage of gaming addicts. For example, the United States accounts for 20percent of all gaming sessions globally, but only 13 percent of all US app sessions are games.
The report further said that for the second year in a row, gaming sessions are declining year-over-year. Three years ago, arcade, casual and brain games were driving 55 percent of all gaming sessions. Since then, we have seen substantial declines in two of those categories: arcade and casual games. Arcade games, which accounted for 24 percent of all gaming sessions in 2014, decreased by 34 percent, and casual games by 50 percent. The declines of those two very large gaming categories were a key factor in the overall game session downturn within the last two years. A lot of those sessions simply dropped and were not spent in other gaming categories.
Flurry noted that the gaming industry remains a very attractive category for app developers, especially as revenue conversions are growing. We're seeing that longer session lengths are opening up new opportunities for innovative engagement and monetization tactics. For example, the peak usage hours on mobile devices are between 6 and 9 pm, which app developers can leverage to target specific users with acquisition or engagement campaigns.
Looking ahead, we anticipate new technologies such as virtual reality and augmented reality to open a new chapter of mobile gaming and to enhance the in-app experience as a whole. And gamers are ready: they are already having longer gameplays on their favorite gaming apps than ever.