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Hypercasual titles account for 31% of mobile game downloads in 2020

RPGs proved to be the top genre for revenue
Hypercasual titles account for 31% of mobile game downloads in 2020

Hypercasual titles accounted for nearly one-third of downloads in 2020, according to Sensor Tower's Mobile Game Taxonomy Report 2021.

Overall, during 2020, the genre racked up 6.3 billion downloads, giving it 31 per cent of the market share, surpassing Arcade as the No.1 category by installs.

However, Arcade did still grow, as it racked up a respectable four billion downloads, giving it 15 per cent of all installs from the top 1,000 mobile titles.

Meanwhile, at 3.7 billion and 2.9 billion, the puzzle and simulation genres took third and fourth place, respectively, with a cut of 13 per cent and 10 per cent each.

The top five mobile genres by downloads were capped off with shooter at 2.5 billion or eight per cent of the market share.

Top performers

Unsurprisingly, given it picked up 31 per cent of all downloads, the hypercasual genre proved to be the most popular in a range of countries, including the US, Mexico, Turkey, Brazil and China.

However, while the category has performed well in India, it came second to the arcade genre.

Overall, Coin Master proved to be the most popular casino title in terms of downloads, while Among Us reigned supreme in the casual genre. The latter of which picked up 282 million installs in 2020, after experiencing a surge in popularity.

Meanwhile, Garena Free Fire and 8 Ball Pool proved to be the most popular games from the mid-core and sports genres. However, while Coin Master, Among Us and 8 Ball Pool also topped the US charts, Free Fire was bested by Call of Duty: Mobile.

As for the European markets, Coin Master and Among Us again took the top spots, but they were joined by Brawl Stars and Head Ball 2, from the mid-core and sports categories, respectively.

Money, money, money

Meanwhile, the RPG genre proved to be the top dog when it came to revenue, as it generated $18.7 billion last year. Most of its earnings came from East Asia – China, Japan and South Korea.

Overall the RPG genre accounted for 29 per cent of the market share, having seen a 26 per cent increase in spending year-on-year.

New games such as Genshin Impact undoubtedly helped the genre to shine, as the Breath of the Wild-inspired title has grossed around $560 million since its release in September 2020.

In second place was the strategy genre with $14 billion in 2020, or rather 21 per cent of total revenue generated in the top 1,000 mobile games last year.

Furthermore, the puzzle genre took the No.3 spot with $8.3 billion while casino was just behind with $6.9 billion. The pair accounted for 13 per cent and 10 per cent of total earnings, respectively.

Finally, the top five genres by revenue was rounded off with shooters, which made up nine per cent of the market share with $5.7 billion.

Mo money

When looking at individual markets, the casino genre saw most of its earnings come from the US, while RPGs thrived in the East Asia region.

However, in Europe, it was strategy and puzzle that shined through as they saw success in the German and UK markets.

As for individual games, Coin Master generated the most revenue via player spending in 2020 for the casino genre, while Pokemon Go reigned supreme in the casual genre.

Moon Active's title recently broke $2 billion in revenue, while Niantic's augmented reality game reached $4 billion in lifetime earnings last year.

Meanwhile, PUBG Mobile and Pro Spirits Baseball A reigned supreme in the mid-core and sports categories, respectively.

In the US, Coin Master continued its show of dominance. However, Roblox, Clash of Clans and Golf Clash also sat at the top of their respective charts.

Again, Moon Active's casino title sat at the top in Europe, while Gardenscapes, Brawl Stars and Fishing Clash beat some tough competition to sit alongside Coin Master.

Get my good side

As discovered in the report, 2020 appeared to be the year of fashion, given the theme saw a 109 per cent increase in downloads year-over-year.

Overall, the clothing and accessories-based theme racked up 991 million installs last year, of which 84 per cent were generated on Google Play, while 16 per cent came from the App Store.

Specifically, lifestyle title Super Stylist proved popular with 46.1 million downloads, while hypercasual game Acrylic Nails followed it with 38.2 million installs.

Other top-performing mobile titles with a fashion theme include Chibi Dolls and Lip Art 3D, as the pair have picked up 36.9 million and 36.7 million downloads, respectively.

For the most part, the fashion theme experienced the most success in the US, Brazil and India.

Meanwhile, the crime and hypercasual themes also saw impressive growth with a rise of 69 per cent and 66 per cent year-over-year, respectively.