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Mobile Monday: Hypercasual Downloads Grew 123% in 2020 , 35% of UK Gamers Play on Smartphones

Posted Mar 7, 2021

2020 was undoubtedly a banner year for mobile gaming, and we’re continuing to see that in certain genres and regions. In a new report, the latest trends in mobile game genres were outlined, and hypercasual came out on top. Hypercasual games reached 6.3 billion downloads last year and grew a massive 123% from the previous year. Meanwhile, consumers in the United Kingdom spent £4.4 billion on games in 2020, with a significant amount of them playing on their smartphones. Get all the details in this week’s Mobile Monday!

Downloads for Hypercasual Games Rose 123% in 2020
In Sensor Tower’s first-ever Mobile Game Taxonomy Report, the mobile app market intelligence firm offers analysis on the latest gaming trends by genre. The acceleration of mobile game adoption in 2020 paved the way for a big year in hypercasual games. The genre’s top titles amassed 6.3 billion downloads last year, achieving a 123% surge year-over-year. This surge made hypercasual the no.1 genre, surpassing arcade games. The game category accounted for 31% downloads among the top 1,000 games.

The report also indicated that Simulation is another genre to keep an eye on. Its top 100 games saw a strong 92% year-over-year growth, reaching just under 3 billion downloads. In 2020, simulation was the fourth most downloaded category. Arcade and puzzle games each had favorable increases of 33 percent and 78 percent, respectively. Subway Surfers was the top game for Arcade and Among Us led the genre growth for Puzzle in 2020.

UK Consumers Spent £4.4 billion on Games in 2020

A report from the Entertainment Retailers Association detailed consumer spending in the United Kingdom and revealed that a staggering £4.4 billion ($6.1 billion) was spent on games in 2020. That impressive total represents a growth of approximately 18% from the £3.8 billion earned in 2019. The report also revealed that the entertainment sector grossed £9.3 billion last year, which is an 18% increase year-over-year. “The entertainment market was already growing without coronavirus, but with much of the leisure sector shuttered due to lockdown, music, video, and games were in the right place at the right time,” said ERA CEO Kim Bayley.

ERA’s report also indicated that the games market accounted for the majority of consumer spend over video and music. The mobile platform is once again proven as a powerhouse with 35% of gamers reporting to use a smartphone. It’s no surprise that the popularity of mobile skyrocketed last year due to the ongoing pandemic, consumers turned to their mobile phones for entertainment. Entertainment spending, in general, jumped 18% in 2020, making it the highest recorded growth rate in the UK market. Games continue to hold the highest share accounting for 48% of aggregate sales, followed by video (35%) and music (17%).

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