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The mobile gaming market is massive. The numbers vary based on which part of the world you’re looking at, but in general, it’s huge. Over half of the whole global market. This means it’s interesting to break it down and look at individual slices to see what’s happening in better detail.

Like, say, a deep dive on mobile anime games. The exact kind of in-depth look data.ai uses its Game IQ Feature Tags function to generate.

There was a huge boost in gaming because of the global pandemic. It makes sense; Covid keeping everybody indoors means more indoor activities. But the gradual easing of lockdown protocols across the world didn’t diminish the number of people playing.

Japan’s still the largest market, but the numbers are up across the board. The United States grew its spending on anime-styled games by 80% since 2018. In 2021 US players dropped $2.12 billion, and collectively played 1.74 billion hours.

As for what everyone is playing? It’s a lot of RPGs. A few sim-style games. Some action games, like MOBAs. Well, one MOBA specifically. Pokemon Unite exploded onto the scene in July 2021, which gave MOBAs as a whole a not insignificant number of total downloads.

Look at that ridiculous Year over Year growth for Pokemon Unite.

The most interesting takeaway from data.ai’s report is that there isn’t a whole lot of difference in what’s popular. Games like Genshin Impact and Pokemon Go continue to be wildly popular across the entire planet.

But the really interesting thing is that the top 10 games by download worldwide list are almost identical to the United States list. Beyond that, the worldwide list doesn’t look at all similar to the breakdown of Japan’s top 10.

I’m not exactly a trained analyst. My guess would be that means United States players gravitate towards the already popular titles, while Japanese players tend to experiment. And that guess could be totally wrong, but it’s interesting to think about.

The blog post from data.ai goes into way more detail and is definitely worth an in-depth read. There’s stuff in there that makes you want to ask questions. One specific example: did you know iPhone anime gamers are 3x more likely to use Discord than the average population? Gamers as a whole are only 2x more likely to use it.

I couldn’t even begin to guess why, but that kind of discrepancy is really interesting.

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