Rise of the sub-$100 Tablets: Christmas by the numbers from Unity Technologies

January 26, 2016 in Technology

Unity Xmas InfographicThe holiday season is a big time not only for Unity developers but also the gaming industry at large. With all of the lounging about digesting holiday meals, there were a lot of folks spending time relaxing in front of their favorite game. That means there’s an enormous amount of data being generated, and subsequently a huge opportunity to examine that data to better understand our customers.

In the spirit of giving back, we decided to take a quick peek into the mobile gaming landscape in the US, and the result is our “Christmas By The Numbers” infographic. The chart, which follows up on our inaugural By The Numbers Report released in September 2015, looks at Christmas Day 2015 in the US. One of the reasons the chart is particularly interesting is the reach that we are able to analyze. As a result of our large install base, the number of mobile devices we looked at on Friday, December 18th was 3.6 million. That number more than doubled the following Friday (Christmas) to 7.8 million, showing a surge in mobile device activity over the holidays.

Retailers and manufacturers are always trying to understand the trends, and a post-mortem is a great tool to see how well you tracked to your strategy. When looking at specific devices used to install Unity games, we noticed some strong trends when it came to both models and types of devices. Chart A shows that on Christmas Day, 3 tablets under $100 – RCA Voyager Pro 7”, Voyager II and Amazon Fire 7” – accounting for a whopping 18% of the devices we tracked. It would appear that budget tablets were a popular item under the Christmas tree, especially as they didn’t even show up in our Friday before Christmas top 10.

Furthermore, 6 of the top 10 devices used on Christmas day were tablets, which together accounted for 27% of all devices. This contrasts sharply with the previous Friday, where only 3 of the top 10 devices were tablets, indicating that tablets might have been the gift of choice this Christmas.

Our last perspective of the numbers, Chart C, tracked the total number of game installs that were powered by Unity. When comparing Christmas to the previous Friday, we saw over double the amount activity, with December 18th at ~4.3 million installs and Christmas day ~10.8 million installs. And it seemed that people couldn’t get enough of their games on Christmas, as shown in Chart B. Peak installs occurred at 11am (likely after gift opening), plateauing for most of the day until a secondary peak at 6pm. Nothing like a shiny new toy to keep people gaming all day long.

We hope our Christmas infographic provided some useful insights, which are just a first step towards providing deeper insights, benchmarking, and metrics for game developers. As the leading game development platform, Unity is uniquely positioned to gather and extrapolate trends using data. By sharing this data, our goal is to help game developers better understand the gaming landscape and players’ behavior. Keep your eyes out for our upcoming Q4 By The Numbers Report, to be released in the coming weeks.

ABOUT DATA COLLECTION AND PRIVACY

Unity Analytics is a new service available to mobile game developers aimed at providing greater insights on player behavior.  In the near future, Unity Analytics will provide Unity developers with access to the most comprehensive real-time market data set available in the game industry. This real-time data will provide far deeper insights into games, devices, and users, helping Unity developers to become more successful and to build games that players love to play. For customers who are interested in a comprehensive customized game intelligence package please contact Unity Analytics (analytics@unity3d.com) for details.

The game developer may allow Unity to collect certain device properties and the player location when the players installs a mobile game built with Unity software. Unity compiles and publishes certain de-identified, aggregated data to help Unity, mobile game developers and mobile device companies better understand their user base and the devices they use.

Aggregated data was collected from iOS and Android devices across the contiguous US on December 18th and 25th, from 12am to 12pm.

Device counts are calculated using a “unique device identifier (UUID).” Different platforms and versions handle the UUID differently, which may result in the same device being counted multiple times due to multiple UUIDs for that device, or a device not being counted at all due to not having a UUID. As a result, iOS device counts may be overstated.

For more information on Unity’s privacy practices, please review the Unity Privacy Policy: http://unity3d.com/legal/privacy-policy

Comments (4)

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  1. Meltdown

    January 27, 2016 at 9:53 pm / 

    Another reason for the spike in tablet usage may be that many people were away for Christmas and no longer had access to their PC or Mac at home.

  2. Evan

    January 27, 2016 at 7:45 pm / 

    Why don’t Tablets under $100 and Tables over $100 add up to %100 of tablets?
    27% of tables are either under $100 or over $100? How much do the other 73% of tablets cost?

    1. JP Hawkins

      January 27, 2016 at 8:48 pm / 

      Hi Evan, in this infographic we looked at all mobile devices that downloaded Unity on Christmas, so the statistics in Chart A just show the top tablets used (as compared to the entire mobile device landscape), and how much traffic they accounted for. Sorry for the confusion!

  3. Jack

    January 27, 2016 at 4:50 pm / 

    I noticed that too in the Android Developer Console.

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