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Mobile gamers are one of the largest audiences in the industry, and understanding them is key for many game developers and publishers. In GamesBeat Summit 2022Lexi Sydow, Director of Market Research at Data.ai (formerly App Annie) gave a talk called “The State of Mobile Gaming” and recent trends on the platform.
One of the highlights Sydow mentioned is that mobile gamers enjoy a more diverse selection of games. While old favorites like Candy Crush Saga still reign supreme, newer games like Genshin Impact are also making waves. Mobile gamers are more willing to try different game genres and styles, and mobile trends match those interests.
Mobile game genres and who plays them
“We’re seeing strong expansions in the types of players and types of games they play… We’re seeing a lot of exciting areas emerging, new genres,” Sydow said. She said it’s a mix of established favorites and new hits. In particular, he noted Subway Surfers, which was the second most downloaded game in the first quarter of 2022. “They are about to hit 2 billion lifetime downloads, which would make them the most downloaded mobile game ever.” . We see that there are still some games that work very well for a long time. Subway Surfers is definitely one of them.”
Sydow also noted that several of the top games in the US, specifically in the top ten, had an audience that skewed towards women. These included Roblox, Homescapes, and Candy Crush Saga. “People often think that gamers are much more male-oriented, which may be true… but on mobile, what was really interesting, is what we saw in February: out of the top 10 games in the US. By spending, six of them leaned toward women. . That’s really impressive to see.”
Certain demographics favored certain types of games over others. “You see puzzle games and word games that lean a little more towards the older demographic. But we see that it’s not just about young players and, as we saw before, it’s not just about men. It is inter-demographic and they are growing very quickly.”
The impact of IDFA
In addition to general trends, Sydow also commented on Apple’s move to expel IDFA, reportedly in a bid for consumer privacy. She said this didn’t have as much of an impact on mobile game ads as one might think. In fact, they brought in more money than ever.
“We saw $295 billion spent on mobile devices in 2021, which is 23% year-over-year growth, and it’s poised to hit $350 billion globally this year,” Sydow said. “That includes brand ads vs. install ads in the app, so the entire ecosystem. We didn’t really see an impact there from IDFA in terms of total locations. I think you’ll see a bit more individual ad performance. But there is still a very strong demand to place them to capture some of that mobile attention.”
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