The hypercasual genre was the largest category in mobile games in 2020. According to the research data analyzed and published by Safe Betting Sites India, it accounted for 31% of all downloads during the year. Games in the top 1,000 titles under the genre accumulated a total of 6.3 billion downloads during the year.
The genre’s growth over the past few years has been nothing short of phenomenal. Back in 2017, it only held a 17% share of downloads among the top 1,000 mobile game titles. It sat behind Arcade, which had a 19% share and was in the lead. In 2018, it took the lead position, accounting for a 20% share, growing further to 27% in 2019.
A number of top hypercasual game publishers had a stellar 2020, growing downloads in double digits.
Based on a study by Deconstructor of Fun, French publisher Voodoo saw the highest number of installs, totaling almost 1.6 billion. Compared to the slightly more than 1 billion downloads recorded in 2019, that was a growth rate of 52% YoY.
The publisher is off to a great start in 2021. According to Statista’s data, Voodoo was the top iPhone publisher in January 2021, with a total of 24.65 million downloads. Lion Studios followed at a distance with 13.06 million while Tencent Mobile Games was third with 10.09 million.
In February 2021, the publisher had a total of 28 million downloads on the App Store and 78 million on Android according to Sensor Tower.
Puzzle Games Posted Highest Growth in Downloads At 78%
Illustrating the popularity of hypercasual games, 50% of the top publishers on iOS in January 2021 belonged to the genre. Besides Voodoo, others included #5 Supersonic Studios, #6 Say Games, #7 Crazy Labs and #8 Good Job Games.
The massive growth seen in hypercasual games in 2020 was attributed to the general gaming uptrend resulting from the pandemic. It was the top genre by downloads in a number of countries including the US, China, Turkey, Brazil and Mexico.
Other categories that posted impressive growth were Arcade games, which saw a 33% surge in downloads while Puzzle games shot up by 78%.
The Arcade genre was the top category by downloads in India, ahead of hypercasual. Globally, it racked up a total of four billion downloads during the year. It held a 15% share of all downloads in the top 1,000 titles. Puzzle games, on the other hand, had 3.7 billion downloads, capturing a 13% share.
Simulation games followed behind it with 2.9 billion downloads and a 10% cut. Shooter games rounded off the top five categories with 2.5 billion downloads or an 8% share.
Top Genre by Revenue, RPG Racked up $18.7 Billion, 29% Share of Total
In terms of player spending, however, the RPG genre took the lead, accounting for 29% of global revenue. The genre generated a total of $18.7 billion during the year, marking a 26% YoY increase in spending. A majority of its revenue came from East Asia with China, South Korea and Japan as its highest-grossing markets.
Meanwhile, the Strategy genre generated $14 billion, accounting for 21% of the total revenue from top 1,000 titles. RPG and strategy games together held a 50% share of the overall market.
Puzzle games were third in terms of revenue with $8.3 billion, with a 13% share of total earnings. Casino came in fourth, generating $6.9 billion and accounting for 10% of the total. Shooters rounded off the top five with $5.7 billion and a 9% share of the market.
Under the RPG genre, new titles such as Genshin Impact from MiHoYo were the top drivers for growth in revenue. The game ranked eighth by total revenue under the genre despite the fact that it launched in September 2020. By the end of the year, it had generated $560 million in net revenue.
According to a March 2021 report by Sensor Tower, the game earned about $874 million in the first five months following its launch. That translates to approximately $175 million per month in player spending.
Courtesy of this strong launch, it is the highest-grossing mobile RPG game globally. It is also the third overall highest grossing mobile game across the App Store and Play Store.
Honor of Kings generated $1.2 billion in the same five-month period to clinch first place and PUBG Mobile is second with $1.1 billion. In fourth place was Pokemon Go, which generated $651 million, and Roblox was fifth with $579 million during the same period.