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Mobile Monday: Sports Apps Bounce Back in Europe, Activision Blizzard Plans to Expand in Mobile Gaming

Posted Nov 8, 2020

People have undoubtedly spent more time in apps this year than ever before but some categories have been negatively affected by the lockdowns. With professional leagues coming to a halt earlier this year, sports apps saw a slowdown in installs in Q2. Since then, many leagues have resumed which has prompted sports apps to bounce back especially in Europe according to new data. Meanwhile, Activision Blizzard discussed their plans to further expand their mobile gaming business. Learn more about these news stories in this week’s Mobile Monday!

Sports Apps Rebound After a Slow Q2

In Sensor Tower’s Q3 2020 report, Sports category apps were said to have bounced back from a slow Q2. As many leagues returned to play, downloads for many of the top sports apps almost hit pre-COVID-19 levels in the 3rd quarter of 2020. After a decline in H1 2020, Europe’s Sports downloads grew 13 percent year-over-year in Q3. Russia, in particular, saw that category increase 116% to over 12 million downloads. France saw an even more staggering growth of 132% resulting in 8 million installs.

The top apps in Europe in all categories for the 3rd quarter were TikTok, WhatsApp, and Instagram. All three of these titles moved up a spot from Q2 as Zoom dropped from the top spot but remained in the top five. The COVID-19 contact tracing app for England and Wales, NHS COVID-19, had more than 12 million downloads in September alone. That amount of downloads was enough to make it the 12th more downloaded app in all of Europe in Q3 2020. The hit game Among Us was the only other game to get more installs in Europe that month. 

Activision Blizzard Plans Major Expansion In Mobile 

In a call with investors, Activision Blizzard announced their plans to further expand into mobile gaming, Daniel Alegre, president and chief operating officer of the gaming company, said they will bring “all our franchise to mobile over time.” Their title, Call of Duty: Mobilem has been downloaded more than 300 million times worldwise since its launch in October 2019. The president of the company’s Activision unit said this made it the highest-grossing game in U.S. app store. 

Activision Blizzard’s big plans for mobile gaming would create more opportunities for mobile marketers looking to reach audiences through in-game advertising. The company’s media sales group believes their games have the power to reach key consumer groups, such as women with children who make most of the purchase decisions in households. The company has pointed out that about half (46%) of moms worldwide play video games, and 74% of those play games daily on a mobile device, according to their own research. With that level of engagement, the media group is confident that advertisers will be able to effectively reach these consumers who are elusive to other media channels.

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