Data & Research

Steady growth forecast for the casual gaming sector

The puzzle genre saw an exceptionally high rewarded ad completion rate

Steady growth forecast for the casual gaming sector

New Data from growth acceleration platform Liftoff has delved into the casual gaming market for the year preceeding May 1st, 2022.

While the mobile gaming industry saw a boom during the pandemic, much of the growth has tapered off due to the easing of lockdown restriction, with user spending falling 6 per cent year-on-year in Q1 2022, with a total of $21.2 billion compared to $22.6 billion during the same period in 2021 – the first time user spend in the industry has fallen. However, the total is still more than five billion dollars higher than the user spend in Q1 2019, which sat at $15 billion.

Despite this market correction, mobile gaming remains the largest gaming platform on the market, with a market share of over 60 per cent – 3.3 times larger than console gaming, the next closest competitor.

The data breaks casual games into three genres: lifestyle, puzzle, and simulation, and draws on more than 76.1 billion ad impressions and 3.4 billion clicks across 58.5 million installs between May 1 2021 and May 2022.

What's in an ad?

One key takeaway from the report is the completion rate of rewarded ads, with puzzle games seeing an ad completion rate of over 97 per cent, showing that players are willing to watch and engage in advertising in exchange for in-game rewards.

 Hidden Object games were a particularly strong performer in this regard, with over 90 per cent completion, more than 60 per cent above the median. This was followed by colouring games (69.03 per cent) and comic games (69.02 per cent.) Word games had the lowest ad completion rate out of all puzzle genres, with 11.24 per cent.

This data suggests that advertisers can expect to see better results in the puzzle genre than in other forms of casual game. However, lifestyle games saw a larger return on ad spend, with 10.57 per cent on day 7 and 22.56 per cent on day 30.

Consumer Price Inflation fell from $1.45 in May 2021 to $0.83 in March 2022, jumping 19 cents to $1.02 in April. Despite this, ROAS remained relatively stable throughout the year, with day seven ROAS fluctuating from 16.14 per cent to 18.60 per cent while day 30 ROAS began at 6.72 per cent, peaking at 7.31 per cent.

The report notes that the casual gaming market is forecast to continue its growth going forward, “retaining its place as a mobile gaming genre made for everyone.”

In March, Azur Games'  Milana Gelmanova discussed a few notable success stories within the Hidden Object genre.


Staff Writer

Lewis Rees is a journalist, author, and escape room enthusiast based in South Wales. He got his degree in Film and Video from the University of Glamorgan. He's been a gamer all his life.