U.S. Mobile Gamers Flock to Simulation Titles as Genre Spending Grows 63% in H1 2020

More pandemic-related boom news, this time in the form of data on US mobile gamers from Sensor Tower. The new analysis looks at how the top 100 mobile games of each mobile game genre performed in the US compared to the year before.

Simulation games saw the greatest growth in player spending (based on revenues of the top 100 games), up by 63.2 per cent year on year to $851 million in H1 2020, making it the fastest-rising genre, with the category including games such as Roblox and Township. 

The second fastest-growing genre was racing, which increased by 52 percent year on year to $110.3m. Meanwhile Hypercasual games, predictably, generated the largest number of downloads, with the top 100 titles racking up 508.3m installs in H1 2020 in the U.S.

The  increasingly popular genre of casino titles came next. It was the fastest riser for downloads year on year, with the top 100 most downloaded titles in the genre accumulating 89.4m downloads in the U.S., up 39 per cent. The category was the largest by spend and ranked third largest by growth, with player spending rising by 46.4 percent Y/Y to $2.1 billion. 

Stalwart genres, Puzzle and Strategy came second and third in terms of total spend from their top 100as, with $2bn and $1.5bn respectively. 

Sensor Tower’s Craig Chapple said in a statement: “By using Game Taxonomy genre definitions, we now have a closer look at which genres benefitted the most from stay-at-home orders in the U.S., and where the increases in revenue and downloads have emerged from. Casino’s rise of $650 million in player spending during H1 2020 alone compared to the year prior shows the category was one of the main benefactors.

“Not only that, but most genres saw downloads and revenue increase during the first half of the year, leading games of all types to grow substantially more than between 2018 and 2019. A larger percentage of consumers with more free time to play have clearly coalesced around a handful of genres, however, as our findings show. The outsized growth of these genres should make them focal points for publishers looking to seize on emerging trends in consumer behavior during the ongoing pandemic.”

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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