The analytical company App Annie has presented a large report on the mobile market for 2020. It turned out that most of the revenue was provided by hardcore players. It also became known from the material which gameplay features were the most effective in terms of monetization.Comparison of different types of players

Hardcore players generated 66% of total gaming revenue.

  • Casual project users accounted for 23%, and social casino fans accounted for the remaining 11%.Hardcore gamers are expected to play more often than other categories of gamers.
  • They accounted for 55% of the total time spent by users in mobile games.Casual games provided 78% of all downloads due to the popularity of easy-to-learn titles (Among Us, Roblox and My Talking Tom Friends).
  • In Western countries, hardcore players spend the most money in mobile versions of console and PC games.
  • The countries of the Asia-Pacific region accounted for a significant part of the revenue of hardcore games.
  • Also, users from these countries are leading in terms of the amount of time spent in mobile titles.Distribution of downloads (left) and revenue (right) in the mobile market in 2020

How has the popularity of genres changed (by the amount of time spent)?

Gamers spent the most time in sandbox games in 2020 (they accounted for 7% of the total playing time).

  • The greatest growth was shown by arcade titles — 300% in annual terms.
  • In 2020, users spent 4.5 billion hours in them.Hyper-casual quizzes also showed impressive growth — users spent 160% more time in them than in 2019.
  • Among hardcore subgenres, RPG showed the greatest growth — 130% in annual terms.
  • Also, users began to spend 90% more time in first-person shooters.
  • The growth in popularity of genres in annual terms

Game Monetization Drivers

In-game events turned out to be the most effective tool for increasing ARPU in 2020.

  • Gamers spent $53 billion on games with events (annual growth of 20%).Leaderboards also performed well (games with a similar function earned a total of $46.8 billion) and customization ($47.1 billion).
  •  All the mentioned mechanics are top features in terms of revenue (more precisely, games with them) in Western countries.
  • In the Asia-Pacific region, features such as competitive multiplayer, chats (in China and South Korea), daily quests and logins to the game (in Japan), as well as guilds and clans (in China) showed themselves best.