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October 1, 2020 marks the one year anniversary of Activision Blizzard launching Call of Duty: Mobile globally in the iOS and Google Play stores. Over the last year, the mobile game has sustained global popularity — reaching nearly 1 billion hours (850 million) spent on Android phones worldwide in its peak month. This success is largely due to the franchise’s committed console fan base who have tapped into the mobile gaming market — a market set to surpass $100B in consumer spend by the end of 2020.
Why It Matters:
The game gained rapid success after its launch in Q4 2019 — reaching the 100 million download milestone across iOS and Google Play within 20 days. Comparatively, this performance is similar to the early rise of Pokémon GO (19 days) and significantly faster than other core games including PUBG Mobile (100 days) and Fortnite (643 days).
“The success of Call of Duty: Mobile reflects the combination of bringing one of the world’s most beloved entertainment IPs to mobile devices that’s just as visceral and authentic as the console or PC versions. In our first year, we’ve reached existing fans of this great franchise in new ways, while also reaching new fans from all over the world. Since launch, we’ve committed ourselves to constantly bringing fresh new content, adding new modes and constantly improving the experience for our players. There’s an incredible amount of content that we’ve added, and we’re only getting started.”
— Chris Plummer, VP of Mobile at Activision
During its first 12 months (Oct 2019 – Sept 2020) Call of Duty: Mobile was the most popular core game in the US by downloads — an indication of latent demand from the Call of Duty fan base for a mobile version, the growing interest in Core gaming in western markets like the US and the success of beloved gaming titles that are migrating from their console and PC/ Mac origins to the world’s most popular form of gaming: mobile.
The success of Call of Duty: Mobile is also a testament to the maturity of the mobile gaming market. Overall, consumers have become more receptive to core gaming (games tuned to be more difficult with longer, less frequent gaming sessions) on mobile. For example, in H1 2020 core games made up 50% of time spent among the top 1,000 games by monthly active users.
As consumers spend more time on mobile devices and connectivity, screen size and hardware become more sophisticated — we anticipate an even greater shift toward core gaming on mobile over time. Mobile also provides a unique opportunity to democratize gaming — allowing publishers to access a portable game console that’s already in the hands of every smartphone owner.
For an in-depth analysis of the mobile gaming market, as well as insights into breakout game genres and subgenres by market share — check out our latest report: Game IQ: The New Standard in Game Classification.
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This post is the latest in a Mobile Minute series that features App Annie’s perspective on how mobile is impacting current events and consumer trends. Check in weekly for our take on the latest news cycles and how mobile transformation is shaping industries around the world.
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