Phrases like “user acquisition company” and “data and insights” don’t tend to quicken the pulse, but you know what does?
For that reason, we’re always happy to get data and insights from user acquisition company Gamelight, which dedicates its time to understanding what makes mobile gamers tick by meticulous monitoring and modeling their behavior.
Gamelight has put together a snapshot of 2023, dishing all on a variety of factors including playtime, game popularity, platform preference, and more.
Let’s break it down.
Most Played Games
Nobody whatsoever will be surprised to learn that Monopoly GO! is one of the most frequently played games in the US and the UK. But you may be shocked to learn that it doesn’t even feature in the top ten in Japan and South Korea.
The timeless Candy Crush Saga, however, continues to be popular absolutely everywhere, appearing in the top ten by playtime for every single country covered in the report. No other game manages to pull that off.
Almost as popular are Dice Dreams and Royal Match, which manage to make it into every country’s ranking but one (South Korea and France respectively) on both iOS and Android.
Other games that appear in numerous national rankings, surprising nobody, include Coin Master, Gardenscapes, and Supercell’s dynamic duo of Clash Royale and Clash of Clan.
Overall, Monopoly GO!, Candy Crush Saga, Royal Match, Coin Master, and Dice Dreams are the highest ranking games worldwide.
Casual is the most popular genre by playtime in every case but one: it seems that iOS users in the UK spend slightly more time on social casino titles.
Japanese mobile gamers spend the most time playing casual games, averaging 47 minutes, while prominent titles in this genre include Coin Master, Candy Crush Saga, and Royal Match.
Digging deeper, Gamelight finds that iOS users are more likely to play midcore games—particularly in the US and France.
If you’re struggling to work out what a mid-core game is, think Clash of Clans, Dice Dreams, and Genshin Impact.
Android gamers, meanwhile, favor action games. Despite this being the least popular genre overall, it gets a lot of play in the US and the UK.
And the entire world appears to have a love of social casino games in common. This genre has a presence in all countries, often coming in second, and there’s little to separate iOS and Android gamers.
What games are they playing? Huuuge Casino Slots Vegas 777, Zynga Power, and Slotomania are the big names, but there are plenty more.
Once again, Japanese gamers clock in the most time on social casino games at 45 minutes, while the French demonstrate the most restraint at 32 minutes. On average, iOS users play for slightly longer.
Country Specific Insights
UK iOS gamers spend more time on social casino games than any other genre, while Android gamers play these titles much less (43 minutes and 31.7 minutes respectively).
Indeed, Android gamers spend less time playing games overall.
But don’t let that convince you that British iOS gamers are all secret casino addicts. The same cohort also dominates in terms of playtime for story-driven RPGs like Genshin Impact and Dragon Ball Legend.
The US, meanwhile, reflects the general global preference for casual games as well as the tendency for iOS gamers to spend more time playing than their Android counterparts. The United States is also a massive market for Monopoly GO!, with that game appearing top and second top of the Android and iOS charts respectively.
Other big hits stateside include Clash of Clans, Roblox, and Dice Dreams.
Android users in Germany spend a full 25% less time playing than their iOS comrades across all genres, while French mobile gamers are the most cosmopolitan, playing Puzzlers, strategy games, word games, farming games, social casino games, and more.
Interestingly, the same four games populate the Japanese top four on both Android and iOS, albeit in different orders. Two of them—Monster Hunter Now and Monster Strike—don’t appear in any other country’s top ten.
Those games must be pretty sweet, since Japan is the country with the highest playtime overall.
Korean gamers, meanwhile, are particularly partial to locally adapted games or games made in South Korea, such as Lineage M, Maplestory M, and Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel.
Read the full report here.