LoopMe: 75% of the pandemic-driven increase in mobile gaming will persist indefinitely

Advertising platform, LoopMe, and IDC, have released the results of a global consumer survey that assessed how mobile gaming activity is likely to be affected after the COVID-19 pandemic subsides. The survey revealed a sharp increase in mobile gameplay since the pandemic began. 63% of respondents reported an increase in gameplay time, with an estimated 75% of the net rise to remain after the “new normal” is established in the next two years.

IDC partnered with LoopMe to analyze responses from 3,850 mobile gamers in the US, UK, Japan, Germany, Brazil and Singapore, asking respondents about their existing gaming activities, as well as their intentions regarding future gameplay time commitments after the pandemic.

Highlights of the study include:

  • In the six countries surveyed, more than two in three smartphone owners reported playing mobile games in recent months
  • 63% of respondents increased their mobile gameplay time after the pandemic began
  • A correlation was found between increased mobile gameplay time commitments and local pandemic effects (specifically, the per capita COVID-19 death rate)
  • 3 in 4 mobile gamers reported playing to be entertained or just to pass the time; 4% said they were playing to engage in “safe” virtual social interactions that are supported by live multiplayer games especially; more broadly, it appears live multiplayer mobile games outperformed in 2020
  • 6% of today’s mobile gamer community didn’t play prior to the pandemic; these new gamers appeared to skew male and a few years younger in age than the broader base of pre-pandemic mobile gamers
  • After the pandemic is largely over (presumably late 2022 in most countries), it appears that 25% of the net increase in mobile gaming activity induced by the pandemic will dissipate and 75% of the net rise will remain indefinitely; this “new normal” will vary substantively by country, however, partly based on the severity of the local pandemic
  • Largely due to pandemic effects, the worldwide base of gamers that played on a smartphone or slate tablet monthly jumped 12% in 2020 compared to 2019, to roughly 2.25 billion last year
  • A majority of mobile gamers make critical buying decisions for their households

From a brand advertiser perspective, one particularly interesting takeaway from the survey was that mobile gamers have significant general purchasing power and are making critical buying decisions for their households. This presents a rich opportunity for brand advertisers to leverage in-game mobile placements within their overall ad spend in order to reach decision-making consumers where they are spending a lot of their time – playing games on their smartphones and tablets.

Rachel Conforti, VP of Marketing, LoopMe