Mobile Gaming Market in Australia

Mobile gaming is not only fun, but a highly profitable industry around the world. Here at Crikey, we’re proud to call Sydney our home base, and wanted to shed some light on the flourishing industry happening right here on home turf.


Let’s Begin with the Global Appetite for Mobile Games

There are 2.2 billion mobile gamers in the world, and this number is expected to rise to 2.7 billion by 2021, according to forecasts from Statista.

Mobile users spent a whopping $39.7 billion globally on mobile games and apps combined, with $29.6 billion coming from mobile games on the iOS App Store and Google Play Store during Q1 and Q2 2019.  In other words, 75% of all mobile purchases happen on mobile games, as reported by Sensor Tower.

Overall, revenue on mobile games increased by 11.3% between H1 2018 and H1 2019, with new mobile games installs reaching 20.1 billion.

With opportunity (and competition) this abundant, it’s time to step up your game.


Australia’s Mobile Game Market

Now the world’s 14th biggest game market in terms of revenue, Australia is a hotbed for creativity, innovation and mobile game entertainment.  Here are key stats collected from NewZoo:

  • 4 million players
  • $1.3 billion in game revenues; posting 11% revenue growth fueled by the purchase of in-game extras
  • 55% of paying gamers spent money on in-game items or virtual goods within six months of taking the survey.

What are Ozzies buying?  Women spent on power-ups, while men bought DLC/Expansion (downloadable content) packs.


Local Gamedev Workforce in Australia

Last year IGEA (Interactive Games and Entertainment Association) released a report to show the size and strength of the Australian games industry, but those in the dev community thought the numbers were low and set out to update the figures.  A fascinating article from, reveals that the Australian games workforce is bigger than previously reported.  Here’s what was collected:

There are roughly 1300 people working in the Australian games industry

  • Victoria is home to 39% of the AU development (the bulk of the community)
  • QLD is home to 31 studios and 239 staff, representing roughly 16% of the game-related employee population
  • NSW is also home to 40 studios, rivaling the size of QLD.

There are a number of major game publishers and game development employers with an HQ or sizable office based in Australia:

  • Firemonkeys/EA (Melbourne)
  • Zero Latency (Melbourne)
  • Aristocrat Gaming/Big Fish (Sydney)
  • Scientific Games (Las Vegas, Sydney office)
  • Isobar (Game marketing/digital agency, Sydney office)
  • Ubisoft (marketing office in Sydney)


If San Francisco is dubbed Silicon Valley, and Santa Monica is called Silicon Beach, could Sydney become the next Silicon Harbour and Melbourne the next Silicon Bay?  We know it’s coming soon.


Cheers from Crikey

Why We L.O.V.E. Mobile Word Games

Today we want to put a spotlight on one of the most beloved and deserving casual game sub-categories: Word Games.

If you’re a nerd for words like we are, the App Store and Google Play are chock full of irresistibly addictive word games to quench your thirst and feed your brain.  From crosswords to vocabulary builders, word finders to word searches, word game apps surprise and challenge us, whenever and wherever we play!  (Incidentally, top places to play mobile games is in bathroom (can’t ignore data, people ;), in bed before falling asleep, and while waiting.)

Why mobile word games are so popular

A good word game can be a powerful force in our lives.  They can entertain us for hours while sharpening our skills, while an unresolved brain teaser can linger for days and keep us awake at night thinking of the answer. The satisfaction, emotional lift, and pride we feel after completing a crossword or solving a word challenge can also stay with us for days.  The gratification and pursuit of this feeling is legit, and the serotonin boost is real.

Mobile word games can be thought of as the modern day Game Night.  Since many word games are multi-player, they easily bring together friends, family, and even strangers to participate in the fun – without the clean-up afterwards.  Word games are also easy on the wallet, with countless free-to-play versions and affordable options available to download.

Not surprisingly, word game accounts for 13.52% of the games genre by penetration, earning its spot among the top 10 mobile game categories.  The top mobile game genres in terms of penetration are: Puzzle Games (57.29%), Arcade (55.6%), Action (34.75%), Racing (31.31%), Strategy (15.79%), Adventure (15.51%), Card Games (15.44%), Board Games (14.09%), Simulation Games (13.72%) and Word Games (13.52%).

Who plays mobile word games?

Back in 2017, the mobile games industry was confronted by data that we all had a hunch was true, but with survey results in hand, could no longer ignore a very powerful force within mobile gaming:  Women.

According to the Google Play and NewZoo survey then, “Women make up nearly half – 49% – of all mobile gamers, and they tend to play more frequently than their male gamer counterparts, making them more likely to become habitual (and therefore lucrative) players.” A strong correlation existed between the growth of smartphones and the growth in female gamers. “Moreover, 60% of women say that gaming makes them feel good, and since mobile gaming is quick and easy – the game is always on their person – it’s easy to play while on the go.”  In 2019, the trend holds true: modern mobile gamers are predominantly female.

We took a look at audience demographics for some of the top word game titles for insights into who plays mobile word games.

Generally speaking, word game players tend to skew slightly female, with just more than 50% of the players between ages 45 – 55+.  However, players from all ages and both genders are present, appealing to a wide and diverse audience.

Which word games are topping the charts?

Word game app rankings from AppAnnie reveal the top free, paid, and highest-grossing word games on iOS and Android. Here’s a snapshot of the top titles in the US region on September 23, 2019:

iOS – Apple App Store

Android – Google Play


Ready to test your word skills and have a blast?  Check out Word Tour, the new word game from Crikey!

Download Word Tour for iOS

Download Word Tour for Android