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USA Mobile Game Market

USA Mobile Game Market

General data

The United States is a country in North America, which is one of the largest in the world, both in terms of area and population. The country has had a huge cultural impact on the whole world in various spheres of life, including cinema, fine arts, and literature. The United States of America is considered to be one of the most progressive countries with a high reasonable standard of life.

The nature of the country, divided into fifty states, is extremely diverse. The US territory encloses rain forests, dry deserts, mountain landscapes, and endless plains. The country is washed by the Pacific Ocean from the west and the Atlantic Ocean from the east. It is interesting that the US and Russia have a common sea border.

Although the history of the country is a little more than 250 years old, its inhabitants managed to create a cultural heritage that countries with a much richer past would envy. If it had not been for the US, the world would not see Hollywood and Coca-Cola, Hewlett-Packard and Nike, Apple and Amazon, and a thousand other global brands. If it had not been for the contribution of the Americans, there would be no marketing in the traditional sense; the world would not hear jazz; there would not appear fast food which we both hate and love. In other words, without the United States, the world would be entirely different.


In the US, people of different races, ethnicities, and religions live. It is the main reason why there is no official language in the country at the federal level.

The economy of the United States of America is the largest on the planet in nominal terms. It has several characteristic features. Firstly, the American economy is considered to be one of the most transparent: public authorities publish periodic reports with varying frequency, available to the public. Secondly, the US economy is one of the most diversified and well-balanced in the world.

At the same time, the unemployment rate among youth is quite high in the country. Despite all the state support programs, it is about 10%. For comparison, the average unemployment rate in the country is 4.9%.

The US mobile game market

The American video game market is among the largest in the world (it is second only to the market of China). According to Statista, its mobile segment is going to grow to $9 billion in 2018. The market as a whole, including computer and console games, is estimated at $16.4 billion. However, NewZoo publishes different figures: according to the source, in 2018, the US mobile market will reach $15.5 billion, with a total game market volume of $30.4 billion. This difference is due to the fact that Statista doesn’t take into account the console game market.

  • USA Mobile

Analysts predict that by 2022, the mobile market share is to increase, and its volume is to reach $10.6 billion. However, this growth is caused not by the rapid development of mobile games, but the stagnation of “big” games. Dynamics also indicates that the American video game market is going to reach its maturity as well. If in 2017, it grew by 11.4% compared to the previous 2016, in 2022, according to experts, its growth will be only 2.7%, as compared to 2021.

However, mobile games in the US are not about to suffer the decline in the growth of the user base. Analysts predict that the penetration of mobile games into the daily life of the Americans is going to grow from 48.7% in 2018 to 54.4% in 2022. In other words, even now, almost 50% of the US population plays mobile games of different genres.

ARPU (average revenue per user) is going to grow slowly but steadily until 2022. Now, one player brings an average of $56.72, but in four years, this amount is going to increase to $58.32.

Interestingly, almost half of the Americans use more than twenty applications a month. The younger the consumer is, the more programs he/she uses.


The largest share in all global mobile markets belongs to game applications. The US is not an exception. The distribution of apps by type looks as follows:


But when it comes to time, the users spend most of it in social media, where they discuss hot topics, correspond with friends, read the news, and learn.

The traffic in America is quite expensive. Chartboost indicates that an iOS user will cost an average of $1.93, and an Android owner—$1.90. It is, by the way, quite rare for the market when the attraction of Apple device owners costs almost as much as that of Android users. Most likely, this is due to the fact that all segments of the US population use Apple smartphones.

This is confirmed by the ratio of phones based on iOS and Android operating systems in America: the former account for 53.89%, and the latter—45.23%.

The top three manufacturers in the US market are as follows: Apple with 53.89% of the market comes first; it is followed by Samsung, which owns 26.62%; LG, with mobile devices which are used by 7.36% of the country’s inhabitants, is the one that takes the third place.

The dominant player in the search engine market is Google, with a share of 87.24%. The second and third places are occupied by Bing and Yahoo! used by 6.57% and 5.05% of US citizens, respectively.

The profile of US mobile game players

As of April 2017, 21% of adult (over 18 years old) inhabitants of the United States are permanent video game players. Another 22% are seldom players, and 19% play from time to time. 38% of the Americans admitted that they never play video games.


The top three social media in America look as follows: 164.13 million people are Facebook users; 111.54 million use Instagram, while Twitter accounts for 71.79 million users.

According to Statista, Facebook Messenger (105.9 million users per month), Snapchat (53.3 million per month), and WhatsApp (19.27 million) have become the most popular US messengers. Note that Discord (7.5 million people a month) is rapidly growing in popularity as well. As to Telegram, it rounds out the top popular chart. Only 2.3 million users use it on a permanent basis.

From year to year, the number of people using a mobile phone only is growing substantially. According to comScore, in 2017, there were already 12% of such consumers of the total number of users in the US. A year ago, this number was 2% less.

In the US market, credit cards are very popular. More than 44% of cardholders use them to make everyday purchases. Another 33% use debit cards on a regular basis. Only 12% of the Americans prefer using cash when making purchases.

E-payments are growing increasingly popular among the millennials—66% of young people prefer using them. Bank analysts say that this type of payment is going to become one of the leading ones over time. However, under e-payments, banks mean making purchases using Apple Pay and Google Wallet as well.

Let’s get back to the game statistics. Curiously enough, the number of male gamers is only a little higher than that of female gamers: 54% vs. 46%. According to the data for the current year, gamers in the age category from 25 to 34 prevail: they constitute 29% of the total number. The next largest category is 16–24 (28%). Subsequently, the interest in games fades away as the age increases. The share of gamers aged 35 to 44 is 20%, at the age of 45 to 54—12%; and those older than 54 are 11%.

It is interesting that the things males find the most attractive in games are competitiveness, destruction, and gameplay. Females are primarily interested in the gameplay, the opportunity to immerse themselves in fictional worlds, and the beauty of the game.

The most popular iOS-platform-based game as of July of this year is a hit by Epic Games called Fortnite. The owners of Android-based smartphones prefer Candy Crush Saga.

Not surprisingly, Fortnite heads the iOS platform charts. Due to the fact that owners of mobile devices can share the gaming sessions with gamers playing on PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Switch, the product from Epic Games managed to win a huge audience.

It’s interesting that Pokémon Go is included in the top three most profitable games, both on iOS-running and Android-based devices. Most likely, this is due to the fact that Niantic continues to steadily support the project.

On iOS-based devices, Roblox is very popular as well. It is a multiplayer sandbox enabling the players to create their own worlds. The game exploits the ideas of Minecraft, but the trend indicates that gamers are ready not only to play what they are offered by the developers but also to engage in creativity. The game developers can exploit this desire by adding tools for creativity, increasing the attractiveness of the project.

The Russian projects in the top include Homescapes and Gardenscapes from Playrix. But it is pretty difficult to win the competition from the powerful King with its Candy Crush Saga.

American gamers are solid payers. The ARPU level in 2018 reached a figure of $56.72, and analysts predict its growth until 2022. As for the user retention rate for day 30, according to analytical services, iOS-based gamers get more often retained by apps than Android users. As far as the indicators are concerned, they depend on the game genre. For example, the retention rate for day 30 for the iOS-platform-based strategies is 4.3% of the players, and for the Android-platform based ones—3%.

The main advertiser in the US market is Facebook. Google AdWords and Unity are the second and the third, respectively.

US mobile game developers

Hits of the best American developers are in game tops of various countries of the world. According to data at the beginning of 2018, the rating of the most successful developers was headed by the Niantic company headquartered in San Francisco.

  1. Niantic
  2. Machine Zone
  3. Electronic Arts Mobile
  4. Jam City
  5. Pocket Gems
  6. Scopely
  7. Glu Mobile
  8. Zynga
  9. Pixelberry Studios
  10. Disruptor Beam

If it had not been for Niantic, there would be no revolution in the AR game genre and a total craziness about Pokémon Go. Machine Zone in cooperation with Square Enix prepared and released the gorgeous Final Fantasy XV: A New Empire. Electronic Arts Mobile is known all over the world by the game series of FIFA, Need for Speed, Star Wars, and Madden NFL.

All the listed studios are on the list of the fifty biggest game developers in the world and have a serious impact on the gaming industry trends. We can state that the American developers, along with the Finnish (thanks to Supercell) and the Chinese ones, provide the direction for the development of the game industry all over the world.

Most of the top list studios cooperate with such major publishers as Activision, Electronic Arts, Fox Digital, Tencent, etc.

US residents culturalization

As the US culture was formed under the influence of diverse nations and ethnic groups, freedom of views, of expression, faith, etc. is actively promoted in the country. Freedom of speech is the basis of the North American civilization.

However, there are forbidden topics as well. In the US, they are very keen on the topic of slavery, which should be treated with care, and, if possible, avoided. Recently, feminism has become popular in the country, therefore, game producers must re-examine each of their products for a possible cause for the humiliation of the fair sex. Otherwise, they would have to fight with women’s rights organizations, the structures often coming off victorious. A good example is an obstruction of the American physicist Matt Taylor, who has landed the Rosetta probe on a comet, because of wearing a T-shirt bearing the image of women.

The faith issues should better be avoided as well. The fact is that the overwhelming majority of the country population exercises some form of religion. In 75% of cases, it is Christianity. However, in the US, you can meet representatives of each and every religious confession, even such extravagant ones as Pastafarianism (the trend, which, incidentally, originated in America). A recent example is a conflict surrounding the Far Cry 5 game, in which players had to counteract a sect of religious fanatics. The community posted a petition demanding that the sectarian antagonists be replaced by Islamists.

The United States of America is the capital of mass culture. It is a country where they love comics, superheroes, rappers, are very loyal to every manifestation of their identity, and love street fashion.

Americans are not afraid of looking stupid and try to disregard the opinions of other people. In many respects, this is why the US has become the cradle of startups and of big business in general. An important role is also played by education, which is considered one of the best in the world. Higher education in America is predominantly private and therefore, expensive. However, in exchange for their money, students get practicing teachers, an up-to-date curriculum and in-depth knowledge of the subject, an extensive contact database from around the world, and assistance in finding employment in the largest companies.

However, the country has problems as well. It is observed that there is a high stratification among the middle class, poverty, a high crime rate in some urban neighborhoods, and problems with migrants. The US has one of the highest rates of legal and illegal drug use in the world. In 2016, more than 63,600 Americans died of drug abuse. About 2% of the country’s residents use cocaine regularly.

The US is one of the few countries where marijuana is legalized. A huge industry is built around it, and the albums of every self-respecting rapper mention “weed.” Snoop Dogg, engaged in the popularization of cannabis smoking, can be considered the face of this global trend.

The localization in the US

The official language of the United States is English; Spanish and French are also widely spoken.

According to some reports, today, every fifth American speaks his native language, rather than English, at home. Spanish is the second most prevalent language in the US: 13.5% of the country’s inhabitants consider it to be their native language.

Russian is the 11th in the number of speakers in the US, with over 700,000 people. The largest number of Russian speakers lives in the state of New York (218,765 people); the least of the Russian-speaking inhabitants live in the state of Wyoming (170 people). The top ten states where Russian is widespread include California, New Jersey, Illinois, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Washington, Florida, Maryland, and Oregon.

The official languages of Hawaii are English and Hawaiian. Some island territories officially recognize the language of the indigenous people along with English: Samoan and Chamorro, respectively, in Samoa and Guam; Carolinian and Chamorro in the Northern Mariana Islands. The US state of New Mexico has a law providing for the use of English and Spanish, the Louisiana state—English and French (none of the languages is official). Spanish is the official language of Puerto Rico.

Englishmen and Americans speak the same language but use it in different ways. Indeed, there may sometimes arise a misunderstanding between them, but this does not mean that British and American English are so different that the British don’t understand the Americans at all. In fact, American English has significantly surpassed the original language in terms of prevalence. It is strikingly different from the classic British version but not enough to become an entirely new language.

However, there are several main differences that can be distinguished.

  • Differences in pronunciation
  • Differences in word-building

For example, the word-building through compounding is more characteristic of American English. Today, the New World is the place where set expressions are transformed into new words most often. When building word combinations consisting of a noun subject and a verb that speaks of its purpose, the British version would often use a gerund, whereas the Americans would prefer to simply attach the verb to the noun.

  • Differences in spelling
  • Differences in the word meaning

The Americans and the British often use different words for the same notions. Sometimes, the differences are more subtle.

  • Differences in grammar

For example, in American English, nouns denoting a group of people usually are singular. The British can use these words as both singular and plural, depending on whether they want to emphasize the plurality of people or their oneness. If the name of a collective has a plural form, one should use the plural anyway. There is also a difference in the use of irregular verbs in the UK and the US.