Battle Royales Lead MOBAs in Mobile Game Streaming

Tl;dr: Battle Royales continue to lead MOBAs in mobile game streaming with games like PUBG Mobile gaining increased popularity in recent years.

In recent years, mobile games like PUBG Mobile and Arena of Valor have reached significant popularity on streaming platforms. Stream Hatchet estimates that dedicated mobile game streaming accounted for approximately 37% of the total Q1 2021 gaming watch time. Here are the key updates on this growing segment of the market.

MOBA, short for multiplayer online battle arena, is a real-time strategy game where two teams of players compete against each other on a pre-established map. Think of chess except other people are in control of your pieces. Each player controls one character with a set of unique abilities that upgrade over the course of a game. The ultimate objective is for each team to destroy their opponents’ main structure at the opposite corner of the map.

Battle Royales are online multiplayer games that blend last-man-standing gameplay with the exploration and scavenging elements of a survival game. Matches can involve dozens to hundreds of players all beginning with minimal equipment. To win, be the last player or team alive in the “safe zone”.

Although both mobile MOBAs and Battle Royales are immensely successful, the Battle Royale genre continues to hold dominance over MOBAs. MOBAs typically have a larger learning curve than most battle royals and are slower-paced. Plus, they attract loyal fans not interested in investing in new MOBA titles. This makes it harder for new MOBAs to break into the gaming market. The average mobile gamer is more inclined to play a quick round of battle royale. PC gaming is where MOBAs continue to have more success.

Going forward, news of a Riot Games’ Wild Rift esports tournament will positively impact MOBA and mobile game streaming numbers.

  • Battle Royales lead the Mobile gaming market. Between the top two game genres, BR games like PUBG mobile and Garena Free Fire generated an average of 151 million more monthly hours watched than mobile MOBA games.
  • MOBA games could be set to take a larger share of the future market. While BRs remain significantly more popular in the mobile gaming sector, watch time from Nov – Apr has decreased by 29%. During the same time frame, MOBA live streams have increased hours watched by 43%.

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