These Mobile Game Genres Generate the Most In-App Spending

April 27, 2023

Consumer spending in mobile games declined by 5% year-over-year in 2022, reports in its State of Mobile Gaming 2023 report [registration page]. Downloads grew by around 8% to almost 90 billion globally, with the US the top market for iOS App Store downloads and India the leading market for Google Play mobile game downloads.

The research indicates that the “new normal” in 2022 consisted of more than 1 billion mobile game downloads and $1.6 billion in consumer spending on mobile games each week.

The US was the top spending market on iOS App Store mobile games, edging out China by the slimmest of margins ($14.354 billion and $14.347 billion, respectively). The US had a much greater lead in Google Play mobile game spending, more than doubling the next market, Japan ($9.669 billion and $4.484 billion, respectively).

Last year, 897 mobile games generated more than $10 million in consumer spend, down from 925 the previous year. Some 164 games surpassed $100 million in spend (down from 174), and 6 exceeded $1 billion in consumer spend, down from 9 in 2021.

Globally, role-player games (RPG) emerged as the top mobile game genre by in-app purchase spending, at $25.5 billion, representing almost one-third (31%) of all mobile game in-app purchase (IAP) spend. However, total IAP spend on RPGs declined by 8.3% year-over-year.

The next-most monetized genre was Strategy, at $12.1 billion in IAP spend, down 6.6% and representing 15% of all IAP spend. It was followed by the Match ($8.7 billion; 11% share), Casino ($8.3 billion; 10% share); and Simulation ($8.1 billion; 10% share) genres. Each of the top 5 genres saw a decrease in IAP spend last year. However, the #6 genre by IAP spend, Action, bucked the trend with a 20.6% hike in IAP spend, bringing it to a total of $5.3 billion and 6% share of global IAP spend.

Within the US, Casino and Match games led the way, each with $4.5 billion in IAP spend and 19% of the total. These were followed by Strategy ($4 billion; 17% share); RPG ($3.7 billion; 15% share); and Simulation ($2.8 billion; 12% share).

Meanwhile, the top genres for downloads were the same globally and in the US: Hypercasual; followed by Simulation.

For more, check out the report here [registration page].


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