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2023 Mobile Gaming Trends You Need to Know!

By Ido Raz, CSO & Founder

“Changes in demographics have challenged ideas of who a mobile gamer is and what they want, making it all the more important to rely on the latest data and trends.

2022 Mobile Gaming Trends You Need to Know!

By Ido Raz, CSO & Founder

Mobile Gaming Trends You Need to Know in 2023

Mobile gaming has taken over the world. Today, 9/10 gamers are mobile gamers, about 70% of all app store revenue is gaming, and by next year there will be roughly 3.07 billion mobile gamers worldwide (Statista). Though the lockdown accelerated the mobile gaming market, all trends show that this rampant growth is holding and continuing post-quarantine. So… you’re in the right business!

Despite some setbacks in 2022, mobile gaming continues to take over the world. By the end of 2023, there will be more than 3 billion mobile gamers worldwide (Statista). The lockdown accelerated the mobile gaming market, and all trends show that this rampant growth is holding and continuing post-quarantine.

This article will explore the crucial mobile gaming trends that app developers and marketers must abide by to survive.

Top 7 Mobile Gaming Trends of 2023

1. 55% of Mobile Gamers Are Female (Statista)

Not only are there 10% more female gamers, they are 7% more likely play more often (MoPub), play longer by a whopping 25% (MMA), but most importantly, more likely to spend money on in-app purchases (Venturebeat). Woman also tend to play one or two games, where men tend to jump between several. Woman are some of the best High LTV Users, and if you can grow a strong female fanbase for your app, your retention, playtime, and app spend will be big, especially if you’re in the hyper-casual genre.

Discover More about Targeting High LTV Users.

2. Hyper-Casual Games Still Rule the Charts

Life is hard enough, especially during the pandemic. As things got stressful, many people turned to casual games because they are easier to play from the start, addictive, and fun. According to SensorTower, adoption of hyper-casual games in 2020 grew by a whopping 45%. In 2021, 78% of mobile game downloads were casual (Influencer Marketing Hub). In 2022, Hyper-casual games will increase by another 2.3%. And in 2023, the genre continues to grow. If you’re marketing a hyper-casual game, you have some hefty competition but an equally hefty market.

3. Post-IDFA App Tracking Transparency Continues to Pose Challenges

Apple’s app tracking transparency continues to negatively impact mobile game advertising. It’s essential for developers to adopt the latest user acquisition techniques and work with a Gen-2 DSP (Demand-Side Platform) that integrates contextual targeting, a data science team, and creative personalization to achieve optimal results.

Discover more about Gen-2 DSPs.  Learn more about Post-IDFA Challenges in The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of iOS 14.5 in Mobile Advertising. Read about an App-Tracking Transparency Showdown. And check out Bigabid’s proprietary technology, Deep Categories.

4. In H1 of 2022, there was a total number of 13,588 mobile game video ad creatives and they accounted for 86% of all ad creatives.

That means video creatives are still the number one ad format for advertising mobile games in 2022, and are predicted to continue to grow in 2023.

Ad Creatives are increasing rapidly, but what matters most is their quality. Creative personalization and optimization technologies are evolving equally fast. Technology, data science, and creative can now be executed at a much higher resolution (user-level granularity) with much better accuracy, all while bidding for the best price in real-time, and even on massive scales. To integrate this, app developers are relying more and more on advertisers with in-house creative teams and technologies to keep up.

Discover more about in-house creative solutions Creative Personalization. Check out 5 Tips for Retargeting Ads in Gaming.  

5. USA, China, Japan, and India Are the Dominating Markets

China, United States, and Japan were the top markets for 2021 in terms of game revenue with $56 billion, $43 billion, and $20 billion in revenue, respectively (AppAnnie). China, India, and the United States were the top markets for 2021 in terms of total downloads, with 98 billion, 26 billion, and 12 billion downloads, respectively (AppAnnie). 

Besides USA, it’s clear the Asian market still dominates with over 1.3 billion gamers in 2021. If you’re looking for worldwide success then it’s essential to market your game successfully to China, Japan, and india. It takes a bit of local knowledge and research to understand the subtle differences between a Chinese blockbuster game like Anipop and the western equivalent, Candy Crush. If you can solve that puzzle, you migh have a worldwide winner on your hands.

6. Mergers and Acquisitions Are on the Rise

The number of gaming companies that signed a merger deal increased drastically in 2021 and 2022, notably acquisitions are those by Zynga and Embracer group.  Zynga acquired two big Turkey-based developers, Peak Games ($1.8 billion) and Rollic Games (80% for $180 million). Embracer Group acquired seven studios in 2021, including, Demiurge Studios and CrazyLabs.

 These deals mainly consist of mobile gaming giants gathering up mid-sized developers. One argument for this recent trend is related to IDFA. Since acquiring users through typical advertising channels proved to be more difficult, publishers looked for alternative ways to find users, by merging catalogs and audiences, they could obtain massive amounts of users cross-promoting. In addition, companies could gain all the advertising insights from the acquired companies’ previous campaigns. 

 Bottom line, if you want to market your gaming app against all this competition, work with a Modern IDFA-Proof DSP (Demand-Side Platform), especially one that works with a large portfolio of companies like Zynga or SciPlay. 

 Check out how Bigabid achieved a 227% Incremental ROI with SciPlay!

7. Core Games Have the Largest Revenue by Genre (Influencer Marketing Hub)

In mobile gaming the number of downloads vs. the consumer spend ratio is inversely proportional. Core games tend to attract higher paying customers despite their lower downloads with roughly 66% of the total consumer spend. 

Casual games account for roughly 23% of the total consumer spend, and the remaining 11% go to casino games. Though Core games have a higher likelihood of revenue, the number of casual gaming downloads evens out the playing field. But if you can knock a core game out of the park, you can count on an audiance of High LTV Users.

Some More Key Mobile Game Advertising Stats

  • In  H1 2022, casual game advertisers (26.03%) rank number 1, followed by puzzle game advertisers (12.47%) and simulation game advertisers (9.64%).
  • The top three game genres by total number of ad creatives were casual games (18.14%), puzzle games (13.67%), and role-playing games (12.14%).
  • 70% of mobile game advertisers and 73% of ad creatives in H1 2022 were on Android, which is a consequence of Apple introducing new IDFA back in 2021.
  • In H1 2022, mobile games had an average CPM of $19.31, up 18% MoM. Mobile games in the USA had the highest advertising cost ($27.54). Strategy games had the highest average CPM ($21.58)
  • Female users’ CPM was 13.2% higher than that of male users. People aging 55-64 had the highest average CPM.
  • CPC was $2.57 for H1 2022 and CTR was 1.48%. CPC was the highest in the United States ($4.22) and CTR was the highest in Singapore (1.59%). Strategy games had the highest CPC, while casual games had the highest CTR.
  • Female users’ CPC was 12.4% higher than that of male users. People aging 35-44 had the highest average CPC.

 Some More Key Mobile Gaming Monetization Stats

  • In-app bidding is now the dominant form of managing ad monetization. It replaced traditional waterfalls – 70% adoption by the end of 2020. (AppAnnie)
  • Mobile game influencers affect users’ purchasing decisions by 21% more than non-gamer influencers. (Newzoo)
  • 74% of mobile gamers in the United States would watch a video advertisement if they got in-app content in return. (eMarketer)
  • 82% of mobile gamers say they are more into free mobile games that include ads than paid games with no ads. (eMarketer)
  • In-app purchases account for 95% of all user spend. (TechCrunch)
  • Players of hyper-casual games watch two times more ads than players of other mobile game genres. (VentureBeat)
  • Women are much more likely to make an in-app purchase than men. (Venturebeat)
  • 5% of women players spend on in-app purchases, compared to 3.3% of men. (MoPub).
  • More than 30% of female players will pay for a mobile game. (MediaKix)

2023 Mobile Gaming Trends – Conclusion

As the mobile gaming industry continues to flourish in 2023 and on, advertisers and developers need to work hand-in-hand to combine creative strategies, revolutionary AI, robust data technologies, and transparent partnerships to stay competitive. In addition, changes in demographics have challenged ideas of who a mobile gamer is and what they want, making it all the more important to rely on the latest data and trends. I you’re in the mobile gaming market, business may be booming but you need the right partners to grow and scale. Reach out and learn how we can help! 

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