Match 3 Drives Mobile Gaming to Record Levels

The Covid19 related lockdown is pushing the popularity of mobile games to ever greater heights, with 1.2 billion games downloaded weekly, according to stats expert App Annie.

Pocketgamer reports that in March 35% more games were downloaded on a weekly basis, compared to January 2020.

Around 70% of user spending on both the App Store and Google Play was from games. However, the category only made up 40% of all downloads. Consumer spending across both stores increased by 1.7% year-on-year.

Casual is King

If we look at the types of game being downloaded, there’s some fascinating data. In the US market, 54% of mobile players fall into the casual category, 38% can be categorised as enthusiasts, with only 8% being hardcore players.

Casual game downloads increased by 0.4%, with Gardenscapes installed most frequently (as of the end of 2019, the game generated $1.5 billion in lifetime revenue). Simulation games grew by 0.9% per cent, while adventure, trivia and board games made up the rest of the top 5 genres.

Match-Three Mainstream

The popularity of Gardenscapes support research from GameRefinery, which shows the match-three genre is the biggest subgenre in the US iOS market, representing 21% of revenue generated.

Interestingly, the report also highlights the fact that 81% of the 200 top-grossing match-three games are more than two years old.

What Players Want

According to the report, player motivation within match-three titles are thinking and solving, completing milestones, and improving skills.

Additionally, the report shows that successful games feature ongoing regular live events, to drive ongoing player retention and engagement.

Astonishingly, Gardenscapes dethroned Candy Crush Saga in terms of monthly global consumer spend in April 2020, the first time the candy-based puzzler has missed the top spot since 2012.

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