Data & Research

2023 saw revenue soar amidst declining downloads with big name games setting the pace

Report from shows Konami's eFootball 2024 and EA's EA Sports FC 24 dominating the sports genre while Monopoly GO! continues to impress.

2023 saw revenue soar amidst declining downloads with big name games setting the pace

Last year the mobile gaming landscape witnessed a modest decline with an overall 59.1 billion downloads (-1.8% YoY) and revenue at $56.9 billion (-0.8% YoY), a diverse and notable performance across multiple genres.

According to State of Mobile 2024 report, the Location/AR category saw a remarkable surge in downloads, escalating by +23.1% YoY. Niantic's launch of Monster Hunter Now was a pivotal factor contributing to this growth. The card games genre faced a decline of -15.5% YoY, attributed to the waning popularity of Yu Gi Oh! Master Duel, which initially enjoyed a substantial launch in January 2022 but gradually stabilised at around 300K-400K monthly downloads.

The shooter genre experienced a downturn of -8.1% in downloads, which was influenced by factors such as the temporary ban of Battlegrounds Mobile India, the cancellation of Apex Legends Mobile, and the non-stop decline of Free Fire.

Skyrocketing revenues

Although the hypercasual genre had downloads retracted for the first time (-7.0% YoY), the revenue section soared by +43.6%, marking the era of hybridcasual games. Standout performers include Pocket Champs ($20.1M revenue, +164% year-over-year), Mob Control ($19.8M revenue, +541% year-over-year) and Alien Invasion ($15.5M revenue).

As for arcade, the popular genre witnessed substantial growth at +21.3%, primarily fueled by Eggy Party, NetEase's response to Fall Guys and Stumble Guys. Eggy Party generated $240 million in iOS China revenue in 2023. The puzzle genre continues to defy market trends, by achieving impressive growth in both downloads and revenue. This success can be attributed to the strong live operations strategies of major publishers like King, Dream Games, and Playrix.

The sports genre is dominated by Konami's eFootball 2024 and EA's EA Sports FC 24, as it continues to experience significant revenue growth, with both franchises surpassing +100% growth. eFootball 2024 introduced a new Match Pass (Battle Pass) which boosted revenue while FC 24 added a major World Cup 2022 tournament which led to a surge in downloads.

Casino triumph and decline contributors

Monopoly GO!'s stellar launch, crossing $1 billion in revenue since April 2023, marked a standout success in the casino genre. It notably did not majorly impact Coin Master's revenue, indicating Scopely's success in reaching a new social casino audience. Despite a 6% growth in downloads, the RPG genre faced a decline of -6.7% YoY. Honkai: Star Rail's massive launch was not enough to counter the overall decline.

This decline in RPG revenue was exacerbated by the diminished performance of former popular titles, including Genshin Impact (-$368 million, -31% YoY), Fantasy Westward Journey (-$279 million, -59% YoY), Lineage W (-$229 million, -41% YoY), Uma Musume Pretty Derby (-$203 million, -34% YoY), and Diablo Immortal (-$180 million, -59% YoY).

The overarching trend of 2023 suggests that launching a successful new title has become increasingly challenging. Looking ahead, the growth of hybridcasual games and the intensification of the puzzle genre, particularly in the realm of match 3D games, present optimistic prospects for the industry in 2024.


Staff Writer

Isa Muhammad is a B2B writer and video games journalist with 5+ years experience covering games, interviewing industry professionals, tracking industry trends and understanding the market.