Game Market Overview. The Most Important Reports Published in December 2021

All about mobile, PC and console games as of December 2021: top-grossing games, most popular games, worldwide downloads, number of players, trends on different markets, and more
Game Market Overview. The Most Important Reports Published in December 2021
Dmitriy Byshonkov

devtodev is helping you keep in touch with what’s happening in the game market. Every month we publish an overview of reports on the most popular games worldwide, top-grossing games, successful releases, favorite video game types, trends, etc. This overview is prepared by Dmitriy Byshonkov - the author of the GameDev Reports by devtodev Telegram channel.  You can read the October and November reports.

Table of Content

Steam is breaking records

Steam stats

  • In October 2021 the record amount of games were released on Steam - 1229. Two years ago, this amount was 64% lower (747 new games).

  • 28 November of 2021 Steam has settled the new record of concurrent users - 27.3M people. The last record has been reached in April 2021, when CCU was equal to 26.9M.


GWI: Big Report about gamers

Gamers data

  • The average gamer age is 34 years. 55% of them are men. Mobile games are being played by 81% of the overall gamer audience.

  • Interesting, that the most increase of gamers from 2018 is seen by the audience of people over 55 years.

New gamers sources

  • A lot of people are having two or more consoles at home. 39% of PS5 owners have Nintendo Switch. 37% of Xbox One owners have PS4. Interesting to see, that 50% of Xbox Series X buyers previously had PS4.

Multi-console ownership

  • 25% of gamers have made microtransactions last year.

Add-ons purchase

  • 62% of cybersport fans are people with low or average income. The majority of E-sports fans are millennials and Gen Z.


Vungle & Liftoff: Optimal Video Length & End Cards for Mobile Games Marketing

End card definition game

  • Social Casino. Optimal length: 10 seconds. Optimal ending: standard end card.

  • Puzzle. Optimal length: 22 seconds. Optimal ending: App Store end card.

  • Strategies. Optimal length: 33 seconds. Optimal ending: App Store end card.

  • Hypercasual games. Optimal length: 37 seconds. Optimal ending: video end card.

  • RPG. Optimal length: 46 seconds. Optimal ending: looped video.

Vungle has analyzed 3.7B of creatives to come up with the best length and ending suggestions.


Deloitte: The Console Market is in the best shape in 50 years

Console market contemprary

  • By 2022 the volume of the console market will reach $81B, which will be 10% more than in 2021.

  • On average, the console player will bring $92 by the end of 2022. In comparison, the PC Gamer is evaluated at $23, Mobile - at $50.

  • About $59B will come from software - games, subscriptions, in-app purchases. Hardware sales will be responsible for $22B.

  • In 2022 the share of digital sales will reach 65%, by 2025 it will increase to 84%.

  • By the end of 2025, software revenues on consoles will reach $70B.

  • By the end of 2022 more than 200M console owners will have any kind of game subscription. In 2025 they will bring $11B.

  • Deloitte analytics are sure, that at the current state of Cloud Gaming, the solution is not a threat to the classic console experience.


Sensor Tower: Mobile Downloads in Q3 2021 Report

Mobile downloads Q3 2021

  • In Q3 2021 apps were downloaded 35.7B times. 27.6B belongs to Google Play.

Mobile downloads Q3 2021 worldwide

  • The most downloaded game in Q3 2021 became PUBG Mobile. It was downloaded more than 70M times.

  • Garena Free Fire is in the top-5 by downloads 6 quarters in a row. In Q3 2021 it became third, the majority of traffic came from India.

  • Pokemon Unite became the US leader by downloads with 7M.

  • European leader is Count Master with 16M downloads.

Mobile downloads Q3 2021 Europe

  • In Asia PUBG Mobile reached 54M downloads mark. And it’s without alternative stores in China.

  • AppLovin, Voodoo, Outfit7, Embracer Group, Azur Interactive, Say Games, Supersonic Studios entered the top-10 publishers by downloads.

Mobile downloads Q3 2021 source countries


App Magic: Mobile Top Grossing & Top Downloaded titles of November


Top grossing games November 2021

  • Genshin Impact became the most successful game of November with $135.1M of revenue. $94.5M of this sum came from iOS.

  • Lineage W, released in early November, reached 5th place of charts. Moreover, it reached the top of the Google Play chart with $67.8M revenue solely on Android.


Top free games November 2021

  • Merge Animals 3D from SayGames became the most downloaded game of November with 28.6M of downloads. 26.4M came from Google Play.
  • On iOS the Chinese version of League of Legends: Wild Rift leading the chart with 5.6M of installs.


Newzoo: Japanese gamers behavior overview

Top mobile game genres Japan

  • The gaming industry of Japan is third in the world despite the relatively small amount of gamers (75.6M). Its revenue is $22.1B.

  • Japanese gamers are fans of RPG games. On average, they’re playing them twice as more, than in the rest of the world.

  • The fantasy setting is the most appealing one to Japanese gamers.

RPG console Japan

  • Japanese gamers are playing shooters on consoles less, than in other countries. On average, 23% of gamers played it last half a year (versus 31% in the world).

  • 38% of Japanese gamers prefer anime art style. However, the next popular answer is “I don’t care”, which answered 37% of respondents.

  • 50% of Japanese gamers answered that they’re playing games to unwind, 49% - to fill time, 45% are playing because they’re interested in the storyline.

Most popular game modes Japan

  • Japanese gamers do like single-player games. On a whole range of platforms.


Microsoft: 20% of Xbox Game Cloud subscribers are using touch controls

Touch controls

  • It’s even more, for these 1/5 of users this controls type is exclusive.

  • There are some big games among them, in which touch controls exceeds 30% of popularity: Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age - Definitive Edition, Football Manager 2022 Xbox Edition, Hades, Minecraft Dungeons, New Super Lucky's Tale, Scarlet Nexus, Yakuza: Like a Dragon.


Sensor Tower: Mobile Apps Spendings increased by 20% in 2021

Mobile app global spending 2021

  • By the end of the year, apps are expected to earn $133B. In 2020 revenue was $111.1B.

Mobile apps global downloads 2021

  • $89.6B of the sum will belong to the game industry. Growth to 2020 ($79.6B) will be 12.6%.

Mobile app global consumer spending 2021

  • Despite the revenue increase, the share of games in overall apps revenue will decrease from 71.7% in 2020 to 67.4% in 2021.

Top grossing games worldwide 2021

  • App Store will bring $52.3B (9.9% YoY growth) by the end of the year. The best game on the platform will be Honor of Kings with $2.9B of revenue (+16% YoY).

  • Google Play will add $37.3B (+16% YoY) to the overall amount. The leader will be Coin Master with $912M (+13% YoY).

Global downloads mobile games 2021

  • The number of game downloads will decrease compared to last year, from 56.2B to 55.3B. 84% of all games downloads will come from Google Play.

Downloads top games worldwide 2021


Niko Partners: Asian gamers will bring $41B of revenue in 2025

Asian gamers prediction 2025

  • In the Asian region (without China), by analytics prognosis, will be 940.9M players by 2025.

  • Here is the list of top-10 markets of the region: Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Chinese Taipei, Japan, Korea, and India.

  • The revenue from mentioned markets in 2025 will reach $41.8B - with both Mobile and PC/Console.

  • The majority of revenue will come from Japan with South Korea.


Sensor Tower: Top Grossing Games of November 2021


  • PUBG Mobile pushed Honor of Kings from the top place. The game earned almost $254M, which is 46% higher, than a year before. 66% of revenue came from China, 7.3% - from Turkey, 6.8% - from the US.

  • Genshin Impact with $207M was second. It’s 47% more than the year before. 36% of revenue came from China, 24% - from Japan.

  • Coin Master had the best month in history last month with $125M of revenue (+4% YoY). 26 November became the top-grossing day, the game earned almost $7.5M.

  • The industry in November received $7.1B of revenue, which is 7% more compared to last year. The first place by revenue belongs to the US ($2B - 29% of the overall amount). Japan (20%) and China (18%) are next. But worth to mention, that Sensor Tower is not tracking alternative Android stores.


App Annie: Mobile Apps will earn $135B in 2021

App stores consumer spend 2021

  • It’s 20% more than in 2020 ($112M). Yesterday Sensor Tower analytics showed similar numbers.

App stores downloads 2021

  • The gaming market will be responsible for $90B of this sum.

Top breakout games 2021

  • In 2021 user spending on 4X Strategies increased by 32%. MMORPG genre also experienced an increase in revenue by 21%.

Top breakout games by MAU 2021


AppMagic: Squid Games trend is over

Squid game hypercasual

  • The number of games downloads based on the series decreased 2.7 times since October.

  • Currently, there are 842 apps in Google Play & App Store based on the Squid Game. 419 of them have never seen a user.

  • From 1 October to 22 November top-5 games based on the series managed to get 147.5M of downloads.


Newzoo: PC Hardware Market Overview

PC gamers gender age

  • In 2021 the overall valuation of the PC market will be $35.9B. There are 1.4B PC gamers in the world.

  • About 40% of them are playing constantly. This audience is mostly making hardware, games, and accessory sales. All numbers below will refer to this audience.

  • Only 32% of players built their PC by themselves. Others chose pre-build options.

Pc type gamers

  • 38% of dedicated players are using laptops as their main gaming tool. In the age from 16 to 30, there are more than a half users like this.

  • Players are usually upgrading their PC once in 3.3 years. 73% of them are motivated by having a better gaming experience. In second place (57%) - a general increase in performance.

Motivation upgrade PC gamers

  • 70% of dedicated gamers are loyal to their GPU brand.

  • The decision to buy the PC is taking about 5.5 weeks, on average.


Sensor Tower: Pokemon Unite was downloaded 50M times

Pokemon unite

  • The game was released on 21 July 2021 on Nintendo Switch and received 9M downloads by September.

  • The mobile release happened on 22 September. In the first two days, the game reached 15M downloads. In a week after it surpassed 30M downloads.

  • According to Sensor Tower, the game earned $18M up to date.


Sensor Tower: Top Games by Downloads in November 2021

Top mobile games downloads November 2021

  • PUBG: New State became the most downloaded game of last month with 32M of new users. 29.7% of the traffic came from India, the US is responsible for 12%.

  • Garena Free Fire earned second place and 22M of downloads (+19% YoY). India is dominating here too (33.3% of overall downloads). 10.5% of downloads came from Brazil.

  • Clash Royale showed its best month since 2017 with 8.4M of downloads. Moreover, in November the game generated $53M of revenue - it’s the best result since April 2018.

  • Generally, in November users downloaded games 4.4B times. India generated 743M of downloads (17% of the overall amount), the US is responsible for 9% of the sum, Brazil - for 8%.


NPD: The US Gaming Market Revenue in November decreased

US gaming solders

  • Revenue was $6.3B - it’s 10% less than a year before.

  • $5.13B came from the software (PC/Console/Mobile), subscriptions, and Cloud Gaming sales. Decrease to the previous year is about 1%.

  • Gaming Hardware sales fell down by 38% YoY to $883M. The reason lays in the next-gen consoles deficiency.

  • 1.13M of Americans bought Nintendo Switch in November.

  • Accessory sales fell down by 20% to $258M.

  • Call of Duty: Vanguard, Battlefield 2042, and Pokemon: Brilliant Diamond / Shining Pearl became top-3 games by sales last month.


Australian Interactive Games & Entertainment Association: The Gaming Industry revenue increased twice in 5 years

Australia gaming

  • In 2021 Australian companies earned $160.9M. It’s 23% higher than last year.

  • For the last 3 years, the revenue growth tempo was about 20%.

  • 67% of the game industry employees are cisgender males. 23% - cisgender females. About 10% are transgender, LGBTQ+ representatives e.t.c.

  • Only 21% of Australian gaming studios are on the market for more than 10 years.


SocialPeta: Top Advertisers (Creatives) of November

Top advertisers games November 2021

  • The top three products with the largest amount of creatives are Wild Hunter: Goddess (Eskyfun), Jackpot World (BOLE GAMES), and Mafia City (Yotta Games).

Most ads games November 2021

  • The best on iOS became Kiếm Hiệp GO, while the most creatives on Android was made for 馭劍江湖. The game is available only in Hongkong, Macao, and Taiwan.


Sensor Tower: 8 Mobile Games hit the $1B mark in 2021

Top mobile games revenue 2021

  • They’re PUBG Mobile ($2.8B), Honor of Kings ($2.8B), Genshin Impact ($1.8B), Roblox ($1.3B), Coin Master ($1.3B), Pokemon GO ($1.2B), Candy Crush Saga ($1.2B), and Garena Free Fire ($1.1B).

  • Roblox mobile revenue increased by 20.3% compared to the previous year. Coin Master grew by 13.8%. Pokemon GO had the best year from the launch.

  • Uma Musume Pretty Derby missed a little to join the “billion team”. The game so far earned $965M, launched in February and only in Japan.

  • There were 5 $1B+ games in 2020.


Blockchain Game Association: NFT Games earned $2.32B in Q3 2021

NFT games Q3 2021

  • The number of wallets connected with games increased by 2,453% from the first dates of 2021 to the end of Q3 2021.

  • The volume of deals at Axie Infinity resulted in $2.5B in September.

  • Splinterlands became one of the most popular NFT games. The report is using interesting metric - Daily Unique Active Wallets, which was 245 thousand.

Important to mention, that market numbers are based on surveys.


Newzoo & Pangle: RPG Report - top genre by revenue

Best grossing game genre mobile

  • In 2020, 21.3% of overall mobile game revenue came from the RPG genre.

  • $18.5B was the amount RPG games earned in 2020. Worth to mention, that three countries have brought 72% of revenue. China added $7.84B, Japan - $3.46B, South Korea - $2.04B.


  • About half of top-grossing RPGs are based on popular IPs.

  • Eastern RPGs are offering, in general, more mechanics to users which leads to more effective monetization.

What motivates people to play games

  • RPG gamers are more open to exploration and role-playing than other genres players. They’re more interested in social and competitive features too.

Source 2021 in numbers (infographics)



GfK Entertainment: Activision and EA are UK leaders in sales during the Christmas

UK top Christmas games

  • From 1984 games published by EA 13 times reached first place by sales in the UK. 9 times it was FIFA games.

  • Activision achieved such an honor 10 times, 9 of which were accomplished with the Call of Duty series.

  • During the last 20 years, EA and Activision's hegemony in Christmas was broken 4 times. Ubisoft, Take-Two Interactive, and Bethesda did it.


Newzoo: 2021 in Numbers

2021 Global games market

  • In 2021 the gaming market earned $180.3B. It’s 1.4% more than in 2020, despite the coronavirus effect.

  • The number of players increased to 3B, which is 5.3% more than in 2020. 55% of the overall audience are living in the Asian-Pacific region.

Cloud gaming market forecast

  • In 2021 the Cloud Gaming market grew by more, than two times (from $669M to $1.57B). By 2024 it is supposed to reach $6.53B.

5G-ready smartphone forecast

  • The percentage of 5G-compatible mobile devices now is about 15%.

  • 465.1M people in 2021 watched cybersport streams (+6.7% YoY). 229.6M of this audience did it on the regular basis (once a month or often).

Esports revenue 2021

  • The E-sport market volume in 2021 is estimated at $1.08B (+14.5% YoY).

Games live streaming audience

  • The streaming audience in 2021 reached 747M people. By 2024 streams will be watched by 942.9M.


StreamElements & Twitch viewership increased by 45% in 2021

Twitch Asian woman

  • Users spent 24B hours this year watching content on Twitch.

  • Facebook Gaming grew by 47% by hours and reached 5.3B hours of views.

  • 3 games reached the 1B hours plank on Twitch. Those are:

- GTA V - 2.1B hours (+175% YoY);

- League of Legends - 1.8B hours (+28.5% YoY);

- Fortnite - 1B hours (+10.6% YoY).


BuzzGuru: Plarium has spent $8.66M on RAID: Shadow Legends YouTube campaigns last half a year

Youtube ad campaign spend game

  • During this time the company earned 442.95M of views. CPM is about $19.55.
  • Influencer marketing spend games

  • About 90.75% of the influencer budget Plarium has spent on RAID: Shadow Legends. Mech Arena: Robot Showdown got a modest $842k, while Vikings: War of Clans - only $28.3k in half a year.

  • But fair to say, that spendings on RAID: Shadow Legends are declining (-64% MoM), while Mech Arena: Robot Showdown are growing every month by 197%.

  • The majority of paid ad mentions of Plarium games are in Russia (23%), and the US (22%).

Plarium paid ad countries

  • American blogger, which YouTube video is getting 261.9k of views, receives from Plarium $11.8k on average. Russian blogger with similar metrics gets only $2.4k.

Ad mentions publications game


Now you have the entire picture of the current game market. If you have any questions, feel free to ask the author using the contact details provided at the beginning of this review.

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