A new report from GameRefinery has been released. According to him, 90 of the 100 highest-grossing mobile games in the United States hold events dedicated to the seasons. The company’s analysts also talk about an increase in the number of events that are held in partnership with major brands and other gaming brands.

Seasonal events

As a rule, the most popular and profitable seasonal events are “tied” to major holidays. In the USA, these are New Year, Lunar New Year, Valentine’s Day, Easter, Halloween and Christmas.

Exclusively local holidays also significantly affect the revenue of games from the region. For example, events dedicated to the Qixi Holiday in China and the National Cherry Blossom Festival in Japan generate significant cash.

Plus, analysts note that events timed to small holidays (St. Patrick’s Day or Oktoberfest), including a positive effect on the perception of the game. However, GameRefinery does not share how much their appearance affects gaming metrics.

Usually, events, not counting icon changes, are reduced to three types:

  • changing the interface inside the game;
  • the appearance of seasonal offers in the game (for example, themed skins in the store);
  • thematic game content/tasks/rewards.

Often they resort to three at once.

As for thematic game content, mobile blockbusters may offer not just additional levels/maps, but completely new mechanics. For example, in Genshin Impact, in honor of the last Lunar New Year, mechanics resembling tower defense appeared in the game.

Event collaborations

According to the results of October 2021, 42 of the 100 highest-grossing games in the USA have events that are held jointly with other brands. The number of collaborations among the top games has been steadily growing in recent years (although there is no explosive growth, as it was in 2017). At the same time, outside the top 100, only 10% of games on the American market resort to them.

In Asia, this practice is more common. In China, 51% of the highest-grossing games resort to it (and 15% outside the top 100), and in Japan — 62% of hits (and 28% of those who are not in the top hundred in earnings).

It is believed that such events not only work for re-engagement, but also bring to the games a new audience loyal to the brand (whether it is another game or a brand unrelated to the games), together with which an in-game event is held.

During collaborations, collectible content related to the brand is usually introduced into the game. It can be either exclusively cosmetic (skins, portraits, emojis, and so on), or directly game (characters, weapons, various items).

As a good example, GameRefinery cites the collaboration of Mobile Legends and Transformers. Skins appeared in the game that turned MOBA characters into cartoon franchise characters. It was possible to get them only from the gacha implemented in the event. The event provided the peak daily revenue for the entire existence of the game.

The full version of the study can be found here.