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Mobile Monday: U.S. Mobile Gaming is Booming, Hypercasual is the Top Mobile Gaming Trend of 2020

Posted Oct 18, 2020

2020 isn’t over yet but it’s already been a landmark year for mobile gaming. Downloads, time spent, and revenue have seen growth as people rely on their smartphones to pass the time during COVID-19. A new report says that mobile gaming in the United States reached $5.8 billion in revenue in Q3 2020. Meanwhile, a survey of the mobile gaming industry revealed that hypercasual games is the biggest trend of the year. For more on the state of mobile gaming, read on for this week’s Mobile Monday!

Mobile Gaming Revenue Earns $5.8 Billion in the U.S.

The mobile gaming business in the United States is has been on the rise in 2020 according to a new report from Sensor Tower. Earlier this year, Q2 mobile game revenue surpassed $6 billion for the first time. This 55% year-over-year growth was a result of increased mobile activity during the start of lockdowns in the U.S. Mobile games managed to keep up the momentum by earning $5.8 billion in gross revenue in Q3 2020. COVID-19 created a boost unlike what’s been seen for game revenue since 2015. Based on the average growth between 2015 and 2019, U.S. revenue would have only been just under $5 billion in Q3 2020.

All top game genres saw strong year-over-year growth in U.S. mobile game spending. Simulation (59%), Casino (51%), and Shooter (49%) game genres experienced particularly high Y/Y growth in Q3 2020. Other categories like Puzzle, Strategy, and RPG also experienced strong growth. The top 100 Puzzle games combined for more than $1.1 billion in revenue in the quarter, up from $860 million a year prior. Multiplayer game Among Us achieved 24 million downloads, more than 3x the total from any other game in the quarter. This marks the best quarter for any game in the U.S. since the launch of Call of Duty: Mobile in Q4 2019.

Industry Professionals Say the Rise of Hypercasual games is the Top Trend of 2020 

In association with AdInMo, Pocket Gamer surveyed a cross-section of industry professionals to identify the hottest trends in the mobile games industry in 2020. The rise of hypercasual games the top trend highlighted by respondents with nearly 50% choosing it. It just barely beat the increase in playtime which came in as the second-highest trend. In terms of advertising, interactive/playable ads had the highest share at 24% while rewarded videos had 15% and in-game dynamic advertising had 10%. 

Publishers were asked about their business models and 54% said they used in-game advertising and 66% said they utilized in-app purchases. The free-to-play model attracts a broad global audience and as a result, continues to dominate. Industry professionals were asked about their opinion on the outlook of global mobile games in the next 12 months and over two-thirds said they had positive feelings about it. Only 10% expressed negative feelings while another 10% were still on the fence. The biggest threats to the industry according to respondents are mostly centered around cost as some of the top responses include rising user acquisition, marketing, and development costs. Approximately 33% of respondents consider the loss of the iOS IDFA code as a major threat.

About AdColony Mobile Mondays
Mobile Monday examines the latest news, trends, and developments in mobile apps, tech, and advertising. Do you have a story to share for the next Mobile Monday?   

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