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Mobile Gaming 2020 Review

mobile gaming
Reading Time: 4 minutes

In contrast to the way 2020 started, it was a wonderful year, especially for mobile gaming. The Covid-19 pandemic that hit in the first quarter of 2020 saw more people sitting at home and reaching for their phones in search of distraction.

The mobile gaming industry, according to Newzoo, recorded a revenue of $76.7 billion at the end of 2020, implying a 12% increase from 2019. With the global box office revenue at $42.5 billion in 2019 and global recorded music at $20.2 billion, the mobile game was set to generate more annual revenue than the duo of music and film.

The question now is, would this trend continue from 2021 to 2022? Well, this mobile gaming review will help you forecast for 2021 and guide you in selecting the best mobile app marketing strategies to promote your app.

Mobile Gaming Industry 2020 Statistics

mobile gaming 2020The following statistics of the Gaming industry in 2020 will help you plan your app marketing strategy for the rest of 2021.

  • Appflyer reports that in 2020, there was a 45% rise in the number of gaming apps installed compared to 2019. Also, in-app purchases (IAP) revenue for game apps increased by 25% during and after the lockdown period.
  • Business of Apps reports that in the first quarter of 2020, mobile gamers grew from 1.2 billion people to 1.75 billion per month, increasing by 46%
  • New Zoo predicts that the number of mobile gamers in 2020 will peak at 2.6 billion, of which 38% will pay for games.
  • App Annie reports that in the second quarter of 2020, consumers spent over $19 billion on mobile games in Q2 2020. This represents the largest quarter so far.
  • Techjury reports that games represent 21% of Android and 25% of iOS apps downloaded are games 
  • Games Industry predicts that by 2022, Andriod games will be responsible for 56% of all mobile game revenue.

High Growth Markets

Of all the game genres within mobile games, Casual Games are proving to be the fastest-growing, recording a 45% year over year growth increase in global download in the first half of 2020. Also, within this gene, the hyper-casual game market alone is worth over $2 billion, bringing into the gaming world 100 million new mobile players, according to Udonis.

Another growth statistic in the gaming review worthy of note is the cost of acquiring a player. In 2020, this cost dropped significantly to $1.47, recording a 66% decrease from 2019. The cost to purchase a new player in 2019 stood at $43.88, marking a 24% increase YoY. The implication of this to app developers is that they focus more on monetizing users through ads. 

Additionally, North America recorded the highest retention rates from day 1 to day 30, beating the global retention benchmark by 1 to 2 percentage points across the curve. Exploring retention rates by genre, Social Casino has the strongest retention curve, with two times the D30 retention than Hardcore and almost three times the retention of Midcore and hyper-casual games.

New Normal in Mobile Gaming

In the course of the last two years, there has been an expansion in both hyper-casual and hardcore gaming. As gamers get savvier and mobile phone technologies get more sophisticated, 2021 should be a year of hybrid mobile gaming genres.

Hybridization has also occurred in multiplayer games, making them more ‘casual.’ For example, “Among Us!” has captured a casual audience even though it leverages a deeper ‘core’ multiplayer gameplay.

According to Appannie, the multiplayer gaming features will remain in high demand in 2021 as consumers yearn to stay connected with family and friends. Core games are the biggest driver of overall consumer spend in mobile games, and predictions show that they will be a key area of growth in 2021.

Trends in 2021

mobile games trendsSurprisingly, millennials (those born between 1981 and 1996) are the driving force of the expanding game industry. A recent study by AdColony shows that around 40 percent of millennials identify as mobile gamers compared to only 33 percent of the younger Gen Z cohort. 

This is a vital statistic to help you understand the difference in taste between these two similar groups and better plan your mobile app marketing strategy.

Another gaming trend in 2021 is the improvement of technology. Gaming engines such as Unity and Unreal will continue to empower more game developers to develop engaging and addictive games.

Also, the emergence of ‘Mobile social 2.0’ is a trend that will continue through 2021. Mobile social is an evolution that provides spaces where mobile gamers can interact with each other.

In China, games like Audition Online, QQ Dance or QQ Speed, and Outer World are leading the Mobile Social trend. They have provided spaces where kids can chill out and make new friends. 

 You have had these kinds of social spaces for a while where you can just chill out, hang out with friends, show off cosmetics, play mini-games, do some quizzes, listen to music and even watch videos.

Mobile Gaming Ad Frauds

Mobile ad frauds are on the increase. This phenomenon is an attempt to defraud advertisers, publishers, or supply partners by exploiting mobile advertising technology. Popular kinds of these frauds are click spam, click injection, and SDK spoofing.

Click Spam occurs when a fraudster executes a click for unsuspecting users. Click injection, on the other hand, is a more sophisticated form of click spamming. By taking advantage of the Android app to “install broadcasts,” fraudsters trigger a click before the installation is complete, thereby taking credit for the install.

SDK Spoofing, traffic spoofing, or replay attacks is the creation of illegitimate installs using data of real devices. 

These ad frauds will frustrate your mobile app marketing strategies if you are not aware of them and haven’t put certain parameters in place to checkmate them.

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