Black Friday was biggest day ever for U.S. mobile game revenues
People spent an estimated $55.8 million on mobile games in the U.S. App Store and Google Play on November 23, making Black Friday 2018 the single largest day for the category in history, according to measurement firm Sensor Tower.
It shows that the same excitement around Black Friday spending with other kinds of holiday shopping has come to mobile games. Combined U.S. gaming revenue across both stores grew 23.8 percent from Black Friday in 2017, compared to the 23.4 percent it grew between 2016 and 2017, Sensor Tower said.
U.S. player spending on Apple’s App Store accounted for most revenue on Black Friday, reaching an estimated $35.2 million or 63 percent of the total. On Google Play, players spent $20.6 million, or 37 percent of all gross revenue for the day.
Sensor Tower said mobile game revenue on the App Store grew 23.3 percent year-over-year, while on Google Play was up 24.7 percent over Black Friday 2017. In terms of the percentage of total revenue on both stores games contributed last Friday, they made up about 68 percent of spending on the App Store compared to 86 percent on Google Play. In other words, games still rule mobile.
Supercell had two of the top 10 grossing mobile games across both stores for the day, including Clash of Clans at No. 1 with an estimated $2.1 million in revenues and Clash Royale at No 5. with $920,000 spent by its players on in-app purchases.
Fortnite from Epic Games was a standout at No. 4, thanks almost entirely to App Store revenue at $1.2 million. This figure was 86 percent higher than the $646,000 that Sensor Tower estimated the game grossed on the preceding Friday.
Most of these games benefited from special deals on in-app purchases and limited-time bundles for Black Friday that drove players to buy into them.
The record for Black Friday is beat every year, said Randy Nelson, head of mobile insights at Sensor Tower, in an email. But he said the all-time revenue record is typically broken on Christmas.
“In other words, if you look at the historical data, Black Friday 2017 was smaller in terms of total mobile game revenue than Christmas 2016. This year, Black Friday was actually larger than Christmas 2017. This bodes well for Christmas 2018 in terms of spending in mobile games,” Nelson said.