The pandemic surge in gaming is being sustained

Mariam Cheik-Hussein
By Mariam Cheik-Hussein | 15 July 2021

The surge in gaming which began with the pandemic has been maintained, giving brands more opportunities, according to research by InMobi.

The Everyone’s Gaming Among Us report found that while 23% of all Australian gamers started playing for the first time during lockdown last year, the growth has been sustained over the full year, with 29% growth in unique users and 41% growth in usage into 2021.

The need to relax and be entertained emerged as the most critical factors for smartphone users turning to gaming since the onset of the pandemic.

This growth has created advertising opportunities, with gamers expressing an overwhelming preference to watch ads, 94%, rather than pay money, 6%, when looking to progress in game or in exchange for a benefit.

Ad recall was also found to be very high among Australian gamers when the ad was engaging and interactive with over half, 52%, of mobile gamers able to recall an ad.

“With COVID related stay-at-home notices and shifts in the attitudes to flexible working hours, Australians of all ages have embraced mobile gaming as a way to relax, entertain themselves, and virtually connect with friends and family,” says InMobi VP and general manager for Australia and New Zealand Richard O’Sullivan.

“We believe this was habit forming and now offers Australian brands considerable opportunity to build immersive experiences and connect with an engaged audience of both genders and from all age groups in a completely brand safe environment.

“What is even more exciting is that all of this can be enabled at scale via programmatic platforms such as the InMobi Exchange. Our recent launch of blended in-game advertising is another step in helping brands make the most of the gaming wave being democratized by mobile.”


The report also found that smartphones have become the most popular device by far, with 85% of gamers playing on their smartphones, overtaking both consoles at 28% and PCs at 30%. This has led to the emergence of the “committed” mobile gamer as 87% play at least once or more in a day.

Women were found to make up 58% of mobile gamers in Australia and gamers span all age groups from Gen Z through to Gen X.

The report is based on an Australian survey held in June, a copy of the full report can be found here.

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