Opportunity: Mobile Gamers Who Use TikTok Play For Longer, Play More Genres, and Spend More

Mobile is the world’s biggest and fastest-growing game platform, by player numbers and revenues alike. According to Newzoo’s Global Games Market Report, mobile generated revenues of $93.2 billion in 2021 (+7.3 percent year on year YoY). And 2.8 billion people played mobile games.

Community has long been an integral part of the games market. As games on mobile become more competitive, core, and social, community is also now at the heart of mobile games. Newzoo conducted research that found 49 percent of mobile gamers use TikTok.

As part of that research, we worked directly with TikTok to explore what motivates mobile gamers and how they interact with the digital platform. Together, we surveyed 10,800 mobile gamers across 13 countries and regions.

“TikTok is where gaming and culture collide. People come to TikTok to discover moments and movements that shape gaming culture today. TikTok is a platform where creators and brands can be their true selves, and it’s inspiring to see how our community supports each other and makes genuine connections through shared interests,” says Blake Chandlee, President of Global Business Solutions at TikTok. “We’re excited to continue building a place where brands of all sizes can share in these moments of joy and connection with the TikTok community.”

Core gamers engage with their favorite games in various ways beyond playing. They watch game content, have community discussions, create content and art, and even cosplay in real-world events. TikTok had over one billion monthly active users as of September 2021, and many mobile gamers are using the platform to create and engage with gaming content.

To that end, global viewership hours for TikTok’s top 100 most popular gaming topics grew +533 percent from Q1 2020 to Q1 2021.

TikTok presents a considerable growth and user-acquisition opportunity for gaming publishers and advertisers. To help companies looking to navigate the space, we dived deeper into the TikTok audience that plays mobile games. We will refer to them as TikTok gamers.

TikTok Gamers Are More Demographically Diverse

TikTok has grown into a diverse community, and this includes its gamers. In terms of age and gender, TikTok is a viable platform for targeting gamers that are hard to reach elsewhere.

The platform’s gamers are evenly distributed by gender, and its demographics are becoming more diverse. The even gender split is especially present in emerging markets across Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and Brazil, where mobile’s strong growth has led to many new players and payers.

TikTok Gamers Engage with Games Longer and Are More Likely to Spend

In every market we studied, TikTok mobile gamers are more engaged than mobile gamers who don’t use the platform. The data also suggests that play hours are even longer in emerging markets.

As is often the case, this engagement trickles into spending. TikTok gamers are 66 percent more likely to pay for games, and are 40 percent more likely to pay for add-ons.

TikTok mobile gamers also represent a massive opportunity for word-of-mouth marketing. The research shows that the group is:

  • More passionate about games
  • Often recommends games to friends
  • Discusses games on social platforms
  • More likely to see gaming as integral to their social life

Unsurprisingly then, TikTok gamers are also more likely to watch gaming content, and many do so via TikTok. The group also tends to use social platforms to find new games (45 percent vs. 32 percent for those who don’t use TikTok).

But what kinds of genres do TikTok gamers enjoy? It’s good news for publishers.

TikTok Mobile Gamers Are More Likely to Play All Genres

TikTok mobile gamers enjoy a wider range of genres than non-users. The average TikTok gamer plays 7.1 genres vs. 4.2 genres for those who don’t use TikTok.

Gamers who don’t use TikTok clearly prefer puzzle and match games. This suggests non-users prefer more casual genres. Meanwhile, TikTok gamers are more interested in core strategies like RPG and strategy games.

Seizing the TikTok Opportunity

We have established that TikTok represents a huge opening for game publishers and advertisers. But how can these companies reach this diverse audience?

The good news is that TikTok mobile gamers are optimistic about seeing more game content on the platform and are excited to follow new and unique campaigns:

Mobile gamers on TikTok are open to all campaigns, meaning advertisers can get creative, iterate, and experiment with new strategies.

To conclude, gamers have always been a highly engaged community, happily sharing

recommendations, opinions, tips and tricks, and video content for as long as it’s been possible to do so.

TikTok’s offer to advertisers is unique, supporting creative and organic campaigns that facilitate global collaborations between brands, creators, and people who play games.

“As early believers of gaming’s growth, we at Newzoo have loved seeing games empower people, engaging and connecting fans from all corners of the globe,” says Peter Warman, Newzoo’s Co- Founder and CEO. “I’m excited to finally unveil the insights from our joint research with TikTok For Business to the world.”

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