Sarah Vordermeier, Content Writer at adjoe, explores the results of the recently released Mobile Games Index, analyzing key trends in the global mobile market.
Teaming up for the second time, adjoe and Statistical have just published their second edition of the Mobile games index. Aggregating data from over 10,000 mobile game titles, over 85 million users, five verticals and five GEOs, the index celebrates the mobile games that have most captured the attention of their users, focusing on the all-important measure of daily app usage..
Statista predicts a 20% increase in in-app ad revenue by 2025. It’s no surprise, then, that longer playtime—and, by extension, greater ad consumption—will go hand in hand. as a key growth KPI for developers. Whether developers enter the index or not, they will be able to compete against their direct competitors and ideally build a game plan to drive longer and deeper sessions from their users.
Africa is heading towards a mobile-first market
Unlike any other region on the index, Africa saw an increase in daily app usage in each of the five gaming verticals between 2021 and 2022. The region came out on top in terms of time spent in games casual (at 26 minutes per day) and second for midcore games. Playtime in social casino games increased by 57% – the largest increase of the five gaming sectors since the 2021 index. In fact, only the APAC region saw greater growth for this vertical, at a impressive 78%. Social casino specialists present in the rankings, publishers bagel code, huge gamesand SpinX Games, once again managed to rank among the top five in Africa, according to the 2022 index.
Connecting the dots, this expansion of everyday app usage in Africa correlates strongly with the region’s improved access to smartphones and faster technology. While smartphone penetration rates in mature markets such as North America and Europe already exceed 75%, sub-Saharan Africa has only just entered the mobile market first at a pace of ‘approximately 46 percent. This figure is expected to reach 50% by 2025.
Likewise, there is still a long way to go (and develop) for Africa when it comes to the adoption of 4G and 5G technologies. But if mobile connectivity catches up to Europe, North America and APAC, faster technology and higher quality graphics will have a positive impact on time spent, user engagement and overall user experience. mobile gamers. Especially for hardcore and RPG games, where Africa lags behind other regions.
Headlines with community and connection conquer the index
The peak of the pandemic may be behind us, but ahead of us are throngs of mobile gamers still hungry for human connection when gaming. The Index reveals that the titles most successful in achieving longer sessions are those that promote authentic connections as well as social, immersive and competitive gaming experiences. This is where multiplayer and RPG games enter the arena. In the index, Summoners War is the only multiplayer RPG game with four number one rankings: in North America, Europe, LATAM and APAC.
In particular, multiplayer board game titles – within the casual games category – performed strongly in terms of daily session length across all regions, ranging from 15 to 26 minutes. Index placements were high among board game titles such as Parchisi STAR online and King Ludo, which turn the game into a social experience for users around the world with their voice chat, leaderboard, live themes, and tournament features. These features drive in-app activity and push their users further into the game and the community of like-minded gamers.
The success of Lockwood Publishing’s RPG title Avakin Life – 3D Virtual Worldwhich received four top-five rankings in Europe, Latin America, North America and Africa, is a telling sign of an imminent future where mobile games fully embrace immersive in-app experiences and expand into the metaverse.
The peak of the pandemic may be behind us, but ahead of us are throngs of mobile gamers still hungry for human connection as they play.
Midcore turns gamers into creators for higher engagement
In the midcore category, where Europe and APAC previously dominated the time-spent measurement, Africa now replaces APAC to join Europe on the podium. Daily app usage for midcore games in Europe and Africa between 2021 and 2022 was 18 minutes and 17.5 minutes, respectively.
The authoring environment that is unmistakably unique to midcore gameplay, especially simulation games, has driven some of the longest sessions on the Index. The top-ranked titles captured the attention of their users by enticing them to invest their time in building an all-virtual life, created for themselves. Whether unleashing a user’s farmer, architect, fashion designer, or dweller, simulation titles require skill and strategy, as well as an investment of time.
EA Games’ life simulation game The Sims FreePlay received two spots in the index, while design simulation games such as Home Design Makeover by Storm 8 and Craftsman: Building craftsmanship by StarGame22 won an impressive four placements. Digging deeper into the rankings, the index sheds light on a promising formula for achieving in-depth gameplay and greater user engagement in the midcore category. By merging multiplayer or metagame elements into simulation titles such as Multiplayer Parking, Craftsman: Building Craft, and Gold and Goblins: Idle Merge, users are challenged not only to create, but also to connect, compete, and chat with players around the world. This leads them to then delve into longer and more engaging gameplay.
You can download adjoe full mobile games index, powered by Statista, here free.
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