Mobile games spending grew 19% in the first half of 2018 to an estimated $26.6 billion worldwide, according to market intelligence company Sensor Tower. They now represent about 78% of the total money spent in apps across both the App Store and Google Play.
App Store mobile game spending reached $16.3 billion for the first two quarters of this year, growing 15% year-over-year, while Google Play spending reportedly rose 26% year-over-year to $10.3 billion. Game downloads reached 15 billion on Google Play globally during this time — up 10.3% — representing 77% of all new mobile game installs. Over on the App Store, meanwhile, downloads grew slightly more at 14.1%, reaching a total of 4.5 billion.
Tencent’s “Honor of Kings,” Mixi’s “Monster Strike,” and “Fate/Grand Order” from Sony Aniplex were the top three grossing mobile games worldwide across both stores in the first half of 2018, Sensor Tower said. The three most-downloaded mobile games were Tencent’s “PUBG Mobile,” “Helix Jump” from Voodoo,” and Kiloo’s “Subway Surfers.”
Overall, Sensor Tower said App Store and Google Play customers spent a combined $34.4 billion on apps in the first half of this year, an increase of 27.8% compared to the first half of 2017. Netflix was the highest grossing non-game app worldwide, followed by Tinder and Tencent Video. Meanwhile, first-time app installs grew 11.3% to approximately 51 billion. Facebook dominated worldwide downloads thanks to popular apps like WhatsApp, Messenger, Facebook, and Instagram.
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Google Play app downloads grew by 13.1%, while the App Store grew 10.6%. But, Sensor Tower said Apple’s platform earned more than double the revenue of Google’s with fewer than half as many downloads.