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Mobile Games Fulfill the Longing for Sports in the COVID-19 Era

Posted May 4, 2020

Social isolation caused by the COVID-19 epidemic has influenced the whole world. In recent times, consumers have had to change and suspend habits, preferences, and hobbies in our daily lives including sports-related events. The postponement of all sports leagues, European football championships, and the Olympics has left people longing for the excitement of sports, and not just avid fans.

Because people cannot play sports with family members and friends, mobile games stand out as the platform to fill this void. As the mobile world begins to take a larger place in our lives, our socialization options continue to shift to digital. Mobile games are the fastest and most accessible platforms to deal with ever-increasing daily stress and boredom. Some countries have seen surges in downloads and sessions in the sports games when we look at the data since February 15. Apptopia, our trusted data partner, shared with us some key data to show the growth of sports games in the mobile world that could be successful channels for user acquisition campaigns.

Europe, Middle East, and Africa
When looking at the Apptopia data since February 15, we can say that playing rates of sports games on mobile have increased with the cancelations or postponements of sports activities in the EMEA region. Especially when we look at the download rates of sports games, we see that there is a noticeable increase in the third and last week of March, and this high rate of play continues. On the other hand, when we look at the sessions, we can see that it has been progressively increasing with the download rates from the very beginning.

All the athletes and sports lovers were deeply affected by the postponement of all sports events and leagues in Turkey. From the very beginning that this COVID-19 epidemic first appeared in Turkey, both sessions and downloads for sports games had been steadily decreasing until March 10 when downloads had an increase until reaching a higher peak one month later. As downloads go up, it is possible that sessions will also increase as people continue to stay at home.

The postponement of the German Bundesliga football league, the Berlin Marathon, and many similar sports events in Germany this year due to COVID-19, has disappointed both athletes and sports lovers. In this period of cancellations, sports lovers began to look for alternative ways to experience the same enthusiasm and excitement. At this point, sports games in the mobile world have been a savior. 

When we look at the session times and the download rates in sports games in Germany, they both hit a low point in the week of March 9 but then drastically increased for the next week. When we look at the following weeks, we see that mobile sports games continue to be downloaded and played at a steady but high rate.

Latin America
When we look at the world of sports, we should clearly mention the successes of Latin American countries. In LATAM, which has been successful in most branches and has made its name, the cancellation of all sports events, primarily football leagues have deeply saddened all sports lovers.

In these tough days, mobile sports games offer sports lovers and users a chance to remind them of the excitement and enthusiasm of sports events. In the past months, sports games have seen some highs and lows in downloads. After hitting a low in the week of March 23, downloads start making big jumps at the end of March. Simultaneously, sessions have been steadily increasing throughout the month.

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