Did you miss a session from the GamesBeat Summit 2022? All sessions are now available to stream. Learn more.
Mobile gamers are one of the largest audiences in the industry, and understanding them is critical for many game developers and publishers. At the GamesBeat Summit 2022, Lexi Sydow, Head of Market Insights at Data.ai (formerly App Annie), gave a talk entitled “The State of Mobile Gaming” and the latest trends on the platform.
One of the highlights Sydow mentioned is that mobile players enjoy a more diverse selection of games. While old favorites like Candy Crush Saga still reign supreme, new games like Genshin Impact are also making waves. Mobile gamers are more willing to try different genres and playstyles, and mobile trends match those interests.
Mobile Gaming Genres and Who Plays Them
“We’re seeing a huge expansion in the types of players and the types of games they play… We’re seeing a lot of interesting areas emerging, new genres,” Sydow said. She said it was a mix of established favorites and new hits. In particular, she noted Subway Surfers, which was the second most downloaded game in the first quarter of 2022. “They are on the verge of hitting 2 billion lifetime downloads, which would make them the most downloaded mobile game of all time. We see that there are still some games that are doing very well and have been doing well for a very long time. Subway Surfers is definitely one of them.”
Sydow also noted that some of the top games in the US — particularly sisters from the top ten — had audiences that were female. These included Roblox, Homescapes, and Candy Crush Saga. “Often people think that gamers are a lot more male, which may be true… but what was really interesting on mobile was that we actually saw in February: Out of the top 10 games in the US by spend, six of them were female.” That’s really impressive to see.”
Certain demographics preferred certain types of games over others. “You see that matching and word puzzle games are skewing a little bit more toward the older demographic. But we see that it’s not just young players, and as we’ve seen before, it’s not just men. It’s demographically diverse and they’re growing very quickly.”
The Impact of IDFA
In addition to general trends, Sydow also commented on Apple’s move to oust IDFA – ostensibly to protect consumer privacy. She said it hasn’t had as much of an impact on mobile game advertising as you might think. In fact, they brought in more money than ever before.
“In 2021, $295 billion was spent on mobile, a 23% year-over-year growth, and it’s poised to reach $350 billion globally this year,” Sydow said. “That includes branding ads versus in-app install ads, so pretty much the entire ecosystem. We really didn’t see any impact from IDFA in terms of overall rankings there. I think you’ll see a little more about how ads work on an individual basis. But there’s still very strong demand to place them to grab some of that mobile attention.”
The GamesBeat creed when it comes to gaming industry coverage “where passion meets business”. What does that mean? We want to tell you how important news is to you – not only as a decision maker in a game studio, but also as a fan of games. Whether you read our articles, listen to our podcasts, or watch our videos, GamesBeat will help you learn more about and enjoy engaging with the industry. Learn more about membership.