Most mobile game genres saw player spending, downloads dip during first half of 2022

Most mobile game genres in the United States saw player spending and downloads decline during the first half of 2022 as the market fell by 9.6% year-over-year to US$11.4 billion, Sensor Tower Game Intelligence data reveals.

The research group says Arcade was the fastest rising genre, with player spending up 14.8% year-over-year to approximately $176 million. The largest Arcade subgenre for player spending was Idler, which generated close to $88 million, up 35.3% year-over-year. 

The second fastest-growing genre by revenue in the first half of 2022 was Tabletop, which increased by approximately 1% year-over-year to close to $388.8 million. All other mobile game genres saw a decline in overall player spending during the first half of the year, with Racing seeing the steepest decrease at 28.8%.

Puzzle was the largest category by spending in the first half of 2022, picking up $2.3 billion billion, a fall of 8.8% year-over-year. It was followed by Casino at No. 2, which generated $2.2 billion, and Strategy, which accumulated $2 billion.

The Action genre saw the fastest growth in downloads during the first half of the year compared to the same period in 2021, rising by 5.4 % year-over-year to 54.7 million. The top Action subgenre for downloads was Action Sandbox, which saw downloads climb by 2.3% year-over-year to15.7 million installs.

The Sports genre was the only other category not to see a decline in downloads year-over-year, remaining flat at approximately 66 million installs. Simulation saw the slowest decline out of the genres that saw a fall in revenue, with a decrease of 1.8% to about 168 million year-over-year.

Hypercasual ranked No. 1 with the most downloads during the first half of 2022, generating 718.2 million installs, a decline of 13.7 % year-over-year. Puzzle, meanwhile, ranked No. 2 for downloads, and Arcade ranked No. 3.

Why the decline in mobile game downloads and player spending? Sensor Tower says factors such as a rise in the cost of living, inflation, and privacy changes like IDFA deprecation have combined for a negative impact on the industry. The ending of many social distancing restrictions from the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic has also seen consumers engage with other activities outside of gaming. 

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.