Okay, let me say this in advance of those pesky facts and numbers; most of you have already made up your mind about this article simply from the title. Yet no, we're not trumpeting mobile gaming's success and declaring PC dead, we are simply the messenger here. And now, with the knowledge that the earlier disclaimer will in no way temper your knee-jerk reactions, let's proceed. App Annie and IDC's 2015 Gaming Report unsurprisingly showed that in terms of spending, mobile gaming continues to widen its lead over other platforms such as PCs, Macs, and both home and handheld consoles. Mobile gaming took the lead for the first time in 2014, and now accounts for 40% of all consumer spending on games. That's some serious cash.

app annie

The Top Grossing Games Worldwide wouldn't surprise anyone, with Clash of Clans, Monster Strike, Game of War, and Puzzle & Dragons leading the way on iOS. There were some other interesting finds too. For instance, home game consoles still lead other platforms in terms of consumer spending per device, which is not surprising give how much console games cost. However, home and handheld game consoled declined marginally in consumer spending from 2013 to 2015. Finally, the study claims it expects the gap between mobile and the rest of the platforms to continue widening, especially as developers continue figuring out the best monetization models for the platform. If you want to read the whole report, go here.

  • mid83

    This comment section should be a fun one today.

    • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

      These stories are always a total shit show.

      • athros

        I love seeing what comes out of the woodworks with these.

      • http://www.googlepants.com/ Wizard of Odyssey

        Then post real analytics, not cherry-picked, self-serving crap from AppAnnie. Garbage in, garbage out.

      • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

        We post stuff like this because these reports are interesting to the massive amount of developers who read TouchArcade. They just happen to have the side effect of making the same people really angry whenever anyone suggests that mobile is doing really well. It's sort of unavoidable.

      • http://www.googlepants.com/ Wizard of Odyssey

        Then analyze them better. It's totally avoidable. You're a smart guy Eli, and mobile is great. You don't need half-truths like this "study" stinking up the joint.

        I'd like to have a beer with you sometime and talk about how you [secretly? not sure] enjoy all the drama you stir up.

      • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

        The only analysis that will make the angry commenter contingent happy is we posted this saying, "Check out these morons at AppAnnie who think mobile is doing well, this is clearly some propaganda bullshit based on half truths and make believe. Mobile is terrible, free to play sucks, and if you want to be truly enlightened you should throw your iPhone in the trash, build a PC, and download Steam."

        I'm at a total loss as to why people are surprised that a web site that focuses on mobile games posts positive news about mobile gaming. If you want to read about how much mobile sucks and how much AppAnnie lies, check out NeoGAF or Reddit or something? I don't know.

      • http://www.googlepants.com/ Wizard of Odyssey

        Not this angry commenter ... I hope you see that's not what I'm saying. I'm saying that the stats AS PRESENTED ABOVE are insufficient to prove anything other than yes, mobile is trending and that's nice. Surely there are other data sources that can give you a more complete picture, albeit in a more boring way?

      • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

        Probably, but I'd rather spend my time today wading through the dozens of new games coming out instead of ruthlessly rebuking the report released by a respected and well regarded mobile analytics firm which most normal people look at and say, "Huh, neat," before getting on with their lives.

      • http://www.googlepants.com/ Wizard of Odyssey

        Rather than regurgitating spoon-fed crap from AppAnnie, you could spend some of our Patreon money on a Statista subscription or something similar. You're probably right about the crowd, pearls before swine and stuff.

        Or, you could play to your strengths, and spend your time on games, which is clearly what interests you. That's why I come here.

        I don't think you get to have it both ways. Either post quality market statistics that you understand and can talk about, or stay out of the kitchen if you don't know how to cook.

        Unless there's a third answer, and these generate a lot of clicks or something, which is none of my business or concern but would at least explain why you posted this.

        If I stumble across a better-told story of how great mobile is doing, I'll send it your way. Deal?

      • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

        We post this kind of thing for the same reason we post about Clash of Clans, Hearthstone, and other stuff the vocal minority make us FULLY AWARE that they don't care about. We're a mainstream site with a very diverse mass-market audience who are interested in things in much greater numbers than the hardcore crowd cares about the latest Kemco RPG. We post these reports because they generate a lot of traffic, which is the best metric I have to go off of when it comes to tailoring our content for what our audience actively wants to read. Since we redesigned our site a few years ago, we get much higher granularity in analytics, and our content targets reflect that. We post about things you don't care about so we *can* post about things you do care about.

        For instance, Shaun's RPG Reload series typically generates very little traffic, but I love Shaun's long form stuff and think it rounds out our content nicely. If all we did was post content like that, TouchArcade wouldn't exist because our traffic would dwindle to unsustainable levels. TouchArcade isn't some rudderless ship bobbing around randomly posting things, we continue to survive because we run super lean and are hyper-analytical with how we devote our resources and what kind of content we devote those resources to. Stories like this, while they may not personally interest you, serve a totally different vital portion of our audience who are interested in this kind of report.

        The problem with satisfying everyone when it comes to stories like these is the curious phenomenon of people being only happy with market statistics that they personally agree with, which is a real weird thing I can't really wrap my head around... But, "these facts make me angry so I disagree" is very much the climate of the internet these days, so, c'est la vie.

      • http://www.googlepants.com/ Wizard of Odyssey

        I get where you're coming from, I really do. I don't think you're hearing me, though. I'll try one more time. This kind of story interests me greatly.

        All I'm saying is that these aren't good statistics. I don't have an issue with the truth or falsehood of them, nor with the "mobile is great" agenda. I agree with that agenda, I'm completely biased.


        Stating that a percentage of spending is growing, without showing the actual numbers, is bad statistics.

        I'm glad it's making you money. Use the money to keep Shaun.

      • http://twitter.com/JaredTA Jared Nelson

        Your feedback is probably more useful here: https://www.appannie.com/about/contact/ We are totally A-OK with taking reports like this at face value in order to generate interesting discussion. It's water cooler talk, nothing more.

      • http://www.googlepants.com/ Wizard of Odyssey

        AppAnnie's not gonna change, this is their bread and butter.

        I will take a deep breath and stop yelling at the water cooler now.

  • OrangeKnickers

    Well that introduction is certainly the base for a mature discussion. With that said, no surprise here. A lot of my friends who'd never Play pc or console have spent a lot of cash in candy crush and clash of clans.

    Still the most interesting Games this year for me have been Stardew Valley and factorio. Both on pc and both pretty successful financially.

  • PoloBaquerizoH

    Yeah right

  • Talaen

    Accessibility of platform is the key here. Consoles lag behind PCs (you don't need a gaming PC to purchase and play games), and everything lags behind mobile, in terms of the number of people who own the device.

    I'm personally fine with a world where consoles go away and publishers bring their games (simple through to enterprise) to mobile markets, but only if we get more solutions that allow both handheld and TV play (such as the Apple TV).

    I absolutely love Nintendo handheld, but there are times I would like to play on my TV and they have omitted that functionality for years (since the super game boy or whatever it was called that allowed okay on the GameCube).

    • Demoncat

      Well, it's sort of more advanced than usual but you know it's possible to stream video games from your PC to your TV right? All you need is a 5GHZ network and a laptop with HDMI, or chromecast.
      The input lag is less than 1 millisecond on streaming now, so it's pretty much just as good as being wired.

  • Der-Kleine

    Since I can't post links here without going through approval (and my comment wasn't approved), there was a report from January stating that

    "The bottom line for 2015: PC gaming is "an undervalued platform... contrary to the amount of attention that is generally paid to mobile gaming, total revenues from the PC gaming market is larger ($32 billion) than that of mobile ($25 billion)."

    (Arstechnica had an article about it on the 27th of January, google "Don’t look now, but the PC is the world’s biggest gaming platform" to find it)

    Now I'm not saying that either report is wrong or right (No one can make a 100% accurate report on this subject), but if toucharcade is caliming to "simply [be] the messenger here", why are you only posting the stories that paint the most positive picture for mobile?

    • http://twitter.com/JaredTA Jared Nelson

      Never ceases to amaze me why you still visit this website. Must be into self-destructive behavior or something.

      • Stormourner of the Nature

        lmao X'D

      • speedyph


  • anada

    Hardly surprising really. Quite ironic however that while mobile may be leading in consumer spending, it's the form of gaming (free to play) which could well form the downward spiral of traditional gaming as we know it. So on one hand, mobile gaming is soaring above the pack, however in my view, this is negatively affecting gaming as a whole.

    • spader623

      All of this

  • Sentinel82

    The old "McDonald's sells more hamburgers than anyone so they must be the best" argument again.

    • Zaraf

      The article never said anything about "being the best". You did. It's simply showing that mobile is making a lot of money. You can make your own conclusions.

      • Sentinel82

        Yes I am sure there is no agenda here.

      • http://www.googlepants.com/ Wizard of Odyssey

        It didn't even do that. It showed that is taking an increasing share of spending on games (whatever that means) without any details on how the numbers were collected, or more importantly, the denominator. Increasing share of what? An expanding market? Then it's no big deal.

  • madreviewer

    Great🤓 mobile gaming is king! I think the reason that mobile gaming is successful is:
    It's like a church donation system ( freemium)
    Where they got whales giving out 1000s$
    And others can just throw some dollars bill in there basket-
    The mobile market is also composed of deserving revenue for deserving products. But it's dying breed.
    And all this will amass to their big numbers.
    It's no big deal, and it was expected.

  • Demoncat

    Mobile games cost much less money to develop as they do not have the same constraints to have the best graphics. They also charge a ridiculous amount of cash via RMT, which is not regulated in United States.
    They need to enforce in-app purchases to have the same regulations as gambling, there are thousands and thousands of people who gone into massive debt over video game addictions on these mobile apps.
    What's even worse is video game addiction is not a legitimate medical condition for most insurances and they flat out refuse to pay for treatment.

    • LordShad0wz

      I hate in app purchases and in two games I guess I've become a whale. I'm an orca lol

    • http://twitter.com/JaredTA Jared Nelson

      Sources for any of that stuff you just claimed?

      • Tallgeese

        Googling "mobile games and addiction" brings up more than just a few articles. Might make for a good research topic...

      • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

        Which ones say "thousands and thousands of people" are going into "massive debt?" People worked up about mobile game addiction and IAP spending base their arguments on 99% hyperbole, 1% vague facts.

  • Corey N

    That's what happens when you load games with micro transactions.

  • http://www.googlepants.com/ Wizard of Odyssey

    That's kind of a non-story, a "How To Lie With Statistics" way of looking at things. I read the whole "report" (such as it is ... about as useless as the fake email address I gave to App Annie) and it's all expressed in the same "percentage of the market" way.

    When Tasos writes, "that's some serious cash," he shows no evidence that he has an absolute dollar figure in mind. 40% of what?

    As long as spending on mobile continues, you can continue to describe this effect, but unless you account for the actual amount of money spent over time, the percentage of the market is largely irrelevant. If the whole game market is expanding, and people are spending more in every area, it's not like mobile is eating PC's lunch, as the headline and graphics would imply.

    The same kind of innumeracy applies to the idea that "Apple is going to die because Android has more market share." Um, if the whole market is expanding all the time, and Apple has the most profitable part of it, they're not going anywhere soon. It's quite possible for Android and Apple to coexist without either killing the other off.

    Touch Arcade, let's show a little more analytical ability when posting stuff like this in the future, mmkay?

    • http://twitter.com/JaredTA Jared Nelson

      Nah I'm fine with just briefly linking to reports like this and letting people make up their own minds.

      • http://www.googlepants.com/ Wizard of Odyssey

        I'm gonna make my own blog. Today's headline: BOARDUMB PART OF THE PROBLEM


      • http://twitter.com/JaredTA Jared Nelson

        Well at least I'm part of SOMETHING 😉

      • http://www.googlepants.com/ Wizard of Odyssey

        You're a part of my world, sweetie. I'm gonna make a soundboard of you saying "whatever" from the podcast. I have a lot of samples.

  • Supermarioooo

    I tend to play more on my laptop (using Steam's big picture mode) but rarely ever is that used for indie games, it's a fairly high spec laptop and I've played about 45 hours of Arkham Knight recently which runs perfectly now after the recent updates, and also recently bought GTA 5, Fallout 4 and Rise of the Tomb Raider, again all these games are mega budget games, which we'll probably never see on a mobile. I tend to use my iPhone for smaller indie games and some of the older Square Enix ports like those Final Fantasy games.
    In terms of value for money, I still think PC gaming is streets ahead of anything including both PS4 and Xbox, you get the best graphics, sound and overall gaming experience.
    I wouldn't overthink the numbers, it's a positive as it's showing the growth of gaming as an industry and it reflects a growing variety in the types of people who play games. I'm probably in the minority as I spend money on both PC and mobile games, I've never spent cash on freemium mobile games, generall it tends to be premium paid titles, last thing I bought for my iPhone was the amazing Love You To Bits

  • eventide

    Posting stats that confirm a platform that has FAR more in game/app purchases than a platform that doesn't isn't news, surprising or interesting. It's click bait to stir up comments and give editors a chance to vocalize there mobile gaming bias and I guess engage with their community.

    • http://twitter.com/JaredTA Jared Nelson

      Wait, what? Why? Console and PC games cost more upfront for one, but there are tons of free to play games on PC that have unlimited spending potential. In fact games like LoL still top even the highest earning mobile games. Plus, the report includes retail, digital, and subscription services like Xbox Live and PSN, things that don't really relate to mobile. It's all kind of apples and oranges comparing the different platforms anyway, but what you're saying still doesn't make any sense.

      • eventide

        Ok then basically, the fact that people spend more on a platform that offers more opportunity to spend on in game purchases isn't news, interesting or an indication that PC and console gaming is going anywhere anytime soon.

      • http://twitter.com/JaredTA Jared Nelson

        That's fine if YOU don't find this interesting or newsworthy, but others do. As for your second point, nobody said that. In fact, we specifically said "…we're not trumpeting mobile gaming's success and declaring PC dead…" Reading the article you're commenting on is a neat thing to do!

      • Hamburger5678

        Read the article stupid

  • Jakeopp

    I'm curious what total percentage of mobile gaming revenue comes from supercell games. Would be an interesting statistic

    • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

      I've heard from pretty reliable sources that on an average day Clash Royale and Clash of Clans together are making more money than the rest of the top ten grossing are, combined.

      • Jakeopp

        Oh dang, that's crazy. But yet at the same time I'm not surprised in the least xD

  • delirium38

    I would like to know how games like Her Story, Crashlands, Legend of Grimrock, Grim Fandango, Icewind Dale enhanced edition, Don't Starve,etc did on IOS compared to their PC or console versions.
    Are low sales of Grim Fandango the reason we haven't seen anything about an IOS version of Day of the Tentacle?

    • AppUnwrapper

      I asked him once and he said iOS was 40%. So it was definitely worth it to him.

      • AppUnwrapper

        *Him is Sam Barlow lol. Was referring to Her Story. D'oh!

      • delirium38

        Thanks for the info, Her Story was easily one of the best IOS experiences I had in months (finished it last week).

      • AppUnwrapper

        Yeah, I was pretty obsessed with it for a while. Not too many games can mess with your head the way Her Story does. And it was nice to be able to experience it along with everyone else, not wait months or years for it to get ported to iOS.

  • tommet

    Fantastic! Hopefully the micro-transactions and pay to win model will actually stay here too!

  • nomstar

    I don't have the time to dig into the full report right now, but are there figures based around the actual returns for individual developers? The number of games available on mobile is much greater than that of PC and console, so even though the total spending is higher, I'm guessing the actual realistic earnings for most mobile developers is much, much lower when compared to their PC/console counterparts.

  • Billy Rain

    Touch Arcade you're like an insecure high school kid who constantly has to post selfies that are angled just right to make the person look halfway cute, but your selfies are articles to prove to everyone who already doesn't care how important and big mobile gaming is. Over and over and over again - LOOK AT THIS STUDY GUYS, WHAT WE COVER IS TRULY THE TICKET AND THE FUTURE!!! And you keep posting them and posting them while the rest of the world keeps ignoring mobile and always will because no one cares about the shit show that is mobile gaming as a whole. Sure there are nuggets of goodness, but they are mired in the endless shit. Twitch, youtube, gaming channels, mobile is nonexistent in these venues and always will be - YOU GUYS ARE IT - so better justify your existence right? Fucking losers.

  • Saberkin

    Not really surprised. Besides convenience/availability, the way F2P models capitalize on consumer impulses is overpowering. Putting $20-$60 into a PC game is a much bigger commitment than paying $20-$60 in small increments for immediate gratification.

  • predator8u

    It saddens me that all this money goes to crap evil money sucking garbage instead of all the wonderful indie games the grace iOS.

    This isn't good news TA what this means is more bigger companies making real games see this and say " I want a piece of that" and abandon what is good about gaming. Push the bad news as good. 99.8% of that money doesn't go to anything meaningful.