Mid-to-hardcore, cross-platform games played on weekdays – Unity’s predicts 2021 trends

Non-mobile gaming grew by over 38 per cent in 2020. With players increasingly shifting to playing during the week rather than at weekends. While casual ‘commuter’ games collapsed in popularity compared to huge growth in 2019, with players moving to more in-depth experiences as furlough and work-from-home kicked in. 

All of that comes from Unity’s new 2021 Gaming Report. With the world’s most used games engine providing both insights into 2020 and predicted trends for 2021.

Looking deeper into the 2020 figures, we can see that non-mobile titles had greatly increased stickiness, the chance that a monthly user of a game will play on any given day, with the usually steady statistic up from below 10 per cent to almost 12 per cent. It may not sound big but it’s a highly significant change and represents a lot of extra days play. 

Another small but significant move came alongside that, with weekdays closing the gap on weekend days in terms of hours played. Possibly as a result of lockdown and furlough. 

Mobile spending increased greatly too, with first-day in-app purchases rising by an average of 50 per cent compared to 2019. While mobile DAU on Unity titles was up by around 28 per cent comparing the start at end of 2020. 

Unity also provided some stats on player engagement across multiplayer seasons. First shows the distribution of season length, a bell curve with around 11 weeks being the average season length, and then demonstrating that player engagement jumps by an average of 12 per cent at teh start of a season, goes back to the average around 55 per cent of the way through, and is -4.7 per cent by the end. 

For more insights and details check out the full report. 


About Seth Barton

Seth Barton is the editor of MCV – which covers every aspect of the industry: development, publishing, marketing and much more. Before that Seth toiled in games retail at Electronics Boutique, studied film at university, published console and PC games for the BBC, and spent many years working in tech journalism. Living in South East London, he divides his little free time between board games, video games, beer and family. You can find him tweeting @sethbarton1.

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