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Sensor Tower: mobile game downloads in 2024 drop by almost 10%

Sensor Tower have released a report on the state of mobile and PC gameplay at the time of 2024. According to the analysts, the market is suffering a decline of sorts, both in terms of revenue and total downloads. I offer you a more detailed overview and analysis of the main points from the report below.
Dynamics of game downloads

If we talk about downloads, the overall figures are not encouraging: if in AppStore compared to the previous year, the changes amounted to -6%, but in Google Play this figure passed the mark of -11%! Strategies and puzzles fell the least, while simulators and arcades fell the most (17% and 16% respectively). But races became more popular this year by 4%, judging by the number of downloads. In addition, the racing genre is the only one where there are positive deviations in downloads.

If we talk about segments, hyper casual games suffered the most (-14%). But the next stage of evolution, hybrid-casual games, fell in downloads by only 2%. Thus, the hyper casual genre has safely returned to the pre-2020 figures, having lost almost 4 years of progress and popularity.

Casual and midcore games suffered the most. They lost 10% and 7% of their downloads, literally slipping to 2019 levels. Overall, almost the entire mobile gaming sector has suffered due to the dynamic market change. And gamers themselves, most likely due to the huge number of AAA-releases on PC and consoles, as well as in anticipation of new games, moved to "older" platforms.
What's the revenue situation?

The situation is a bit better with the money. AppStore did not show any changes compared to last year, while Google Play lost 6% of the 2023 figures. In general, the market by revenue lost about 2%, if compared to the same period last year. Now, in order.

Casinos became the most profitable genre, showing +18% YoY. But shooters and strategies lost popularity and revenue also fell by 13% and 10% respectively. At the same time, the hybrid-casual segment grew by as much as 30% in terms of revenue, while the casual segment grew by 8%. Quite interesting statistics, considering the fact of falling downloads of these genres.

Even against the background of falling downloads, the revenue went up in the Middle East region (+8%), Europe and South America (+7% and +4%). Analysts believe that such figures are due to the transfer of some payments from the major app shops.
The best games of last year

It's worth categorising all games by genre here. For example, the best games by profit for 2023 in the casual genre are the following:

  • Candy Crush Saga($960 million)
  • MONOPOLY GO!($830 million)
  • CoinMaster($730 million)

In the midcore genre, the leader was Honor of Kings, earning almost $2 billion for the year! It is followed by Genshin Impact with almost a billion dollars of profit and multiplatform Roblox with a figure of $880 million.

When it comes to downloads, the numbers for individual games of different genres are roughly like this. The leaders in the hybrid-casual genre are Race Master 3D (110 million downloads), Stumble Guys with 100 million downloads and Magic Tiles with 95 million downloads.

Hyper casual games are still trying their best to keep the 100 million download bar. The leaders were Block Blast!(140 million), Bridge Race(110 million) and Going Balls with 105 million downloads.
Marketing and advertising

Contrary to the direct indicators of mobile games, the most money was spent on their advertising - 67% of the total spending on advertising falls on this niche. PCs and consoles did not need any introduction this year thanks to their high-profile releases, with around 28% spent on them. 4% was spent on virtual reality games, and 1% on everything else.
The main advertising channels were traditionally YouTube and social networks. More than 75% of the total amount of marketing was used with the help of these channels.

An interesting situation with the share of players, and more precisely with their gender. For example, in the USA, the main share of hyper casual and casual players is female, but in midcore games the ratio is almost the same.
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