Data & Research

Match-3 games drive almost $1 billion in consumer spend in Q3 2021

However, the popular puzzle genre is the fifth most popular sub-genre according to App Annie

Match-3 games drive almost $1 billion in consumer spend in Q3 2021

This article is part of an ongoing series of data-driven articles from and App Annie highlighting trends in the global mobile games sector using App Annie’s Game IQ analytics.

Mobile games publishers based in Europe, the Middle East and Africa continue to dominate the global app stores, according to the latest chart roundup from data experts App Annie.

The charts - based upon consumer spend - shows three match-three puzzle titles in the top 10 (Royal Match, Homescapes and Fishdom: Deep Dive), with App Annie reporting that the genre generated almost $1 billion dollars over the quarter.

However, the genre is only the fifth highest-grossing in the charts, lagging behind strategy at number one, RPG in second (massively multiplayer online games) and third (team battle), and casino games seizing the fourth place.

One notable exception in the charts is the presence of Toca Life: World, the self-described ‘mega app’ which connects all of the locations and games within the studio’s Toca Life series.

It stands out as the only kids' game in the top ten. The game is monetised via in-app purchases, with content packs offering new locations, venues, seasonal content and characters.

The rest of the chart offers a wide range of genres and content types, which reflect the diverse audience playing mobile games.

Traditional ‘shooter’ videogames, which remain among the most popular genres on PC and console appear only once in the Top 10, with Mech Arena: Robot Showdown in the number nine spot. Casual and more mainstream games such as Bingo Blitz (number 10) and Yalla Ludo (number eight) are also featured.

Lexi Sydow, the head of insights for App Annie, said: "In Q3 2021, some of the biggest breakout games for global app store consumer spend came from EMEA headquartered publishers. Toca Life: World is particularly notable given it is the only Kids game among the breakout games. Users design and build their own avatars and worlds in a cartoon art style and can purchase new locations, characters and pets to build their custom worlds.

"Match > M3-Meta game represented three of the top 10 EMEA-HQ’d breakout games with Royal Match at number one, Homescapes at number three and Fishdom: Deep Dive at number seven.

"Match > M3-Meta games as a subgenre represented nearly $1 billion in consumer spend in Q3 2021 worldwide, and was the 5th highest-grossing subgenre following: Strategy > 4X March-Battle at number one, RPG> MMORPG in second place, RPG > Team Battle third and Casino > Slots in fourth place."

Game IQ is a vertically tailored analytics product, developed by App Annie, that provides insight into dimensions such as class, genre, subgenre and tags. Games can now be analysed by broad category class (tuning), genre, subgenre, and tags (modifiers) such as IP, art style, settings, monetisation mechanic, and more.

For more information register for a demo here. regularly posts content from a variety of guest writers across the games industry. These encompass a wide range of topics and people from different backgrounds and diversities, sharing their opinion on the hottest trending topics, undiscovered gems and what the future of the business holds.