Mobile gaming spending drops 5% to $110 billion in 2022

Anne Freer | November 30, 2023

App Business

Spending on mobile gaming dropped by 5% to $110 billion in 2022, according to a new report from Shorooq Partners. The data provides important insights into the gaming scene in the Mobile, Esports, North Africa, and Pakistan (MENAP) region. Let’s take a look.

Mobile gaming spending shortage

Although mobile game downloads shot up in 2022, there was a global trend where spending on mobile gaming dropped by 5% to $110 billion. That’s happened because companies were focusing more on making money than on growing their user base. The report says this change was influenced by new rules about how companies can track and target users due to privacy changes.

Apple’s App Tracking Transparency (ATT) rules, especially the Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA) and SKAN 4, have had a big impact on mobile gaming. While SKAN 4 helps with privacy and measuring user behaviour, it might take most of 2023 for marketers to fully use its features.

Consumer spending in games

Source: Shorooq Partners

The report emphasises the importance of having a strong payment system for gaming companies. It’s crucial to have smooth ways for players to subscribe or make in-game purchases without disrupting their gameplay.

Problems like technical glitches, user errors, and security concerns cause about 15% of gaming payments to fail in the MENAP region, making it harder to reach users effectively.

Gaming in MENAP to hit $2.8 billion

According to the report, the gaming market in MENAP is expected to grow to $2.8 billion by 2026, with a yearly growth rate of 10%. This growth is driven by more people playing mobile games, affordable technology, and more game developers and publishers in the region.

The report also mentions that MENAP is publishing three times more games in 2023-2023 compared to the previous period, and it could become a strong competitor to China, especially as China faces restrictions on its gaming companies.

In the first quarter of 2023, investments in the gaming industry reached over $6 billion, bringing the total investment to $15 billion. The Public Investment Fund (PIF) of Saudi Arabia was a significant investor in this industry.

MENA funding in games

Source: Shorooq Partners

The report predicts that the number of gamers in the MENAP region will increase from 67.4 million in 2022 to 87.3 million in 2026. MENAP gamers prefer skill-based and social games, and titles like “Rise of Kingdoms” and “PUBG Mobile” are becoming popular. Local favourites like “Yalla Ludo” also continue to do well.

Match3 games have seen a 30% increase in downloads, but the high demand has led to a 200% increase in the cost of getting players to install these games. Simulation games have seen a 35% decrease in in-game purchases, contributing to a 20% drop in overall in-game purchases and ad revenue.

Players have become more selective and some use ad-blocking technology to avoid new ways of making money in games.

Key takeaways

  • Mobile gaming spending decreased by 5% to $110 billion in 2022 due to a focus on monetization over user growth
  • Apple’s ATT rules, like IDFA and SKAN 4, significantly impacted mobile gaming, with full adoption expected by 2023
  • MENAP gaming market set to reach $2.8 billion by 2026, driven by more players, affordable tech, and increased game development, with 87.3 million gamers predicted by 2026

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