Now that gaming trends have had time to neutralize, a couple of truths remain clear: Many of the additional gamers brought to the table in 2020 are sticking around. While first-time gaming growth (and other gaming trends) is lower vs. 2020, levels are still higher vs. 2019...by double digits. Online gaming mentions remain +13% higher than pre-covid levels.
And guess what segment of digital gaming, in particular, is driving growth? Mobile Gaming. Consumer mentions of gaming from a mobile device have increased +40% YoY, bucking other softening gaming trends. And this preference is helping drive demand for mobile-friendly games, specifically. Consider the scatter chart below, featuring near-term momentum for major games under the Take-Two (brown), Activision (purple), and Roblox (pink) umbrellas.
Hype is building for Activision's Diablo brand, driven partially by interest in Diablo Immortal, a free-to-play video game developed specifically for mobile devices. The Call of Duty franchise is also being boosted by mobile engagement, with ATVI noting, Call of Duty mobile net bookings grew over 40% YoY in Q3, driven by double-digit growth in the West and a continued contribution from the game in China. Take-Two has at least 21 mobile games planned for development over the next 5 fiscal years. And its CEO noted mobile development does contribute to a more diverse audience, with the mobile gamers trending more female and older vs. other gaming demographics. Roblox has been onto the mobile trend for some time...in 2020, 79% of all Roblox games were played on mobile devices.