As 2021 begins to fade into memory, we're taking a look back at the events that have defined the last 12 months in mobile gaming.
We've asked the industry's great and good to give us their take on the year, as well as predicting the trends that will dominate in 2022.
Lana Meisak is VP business development and marketing at app and casual game publisher Gismart.
PocketGamer.biz: What do you think was the biggest news for the mobile games industry in 2021?
Lana Meisak: The changes related to the IDFA (Identifier for Advertisers) because it significantly influenced the purchase of traffic on iOS, and also affected the assessment of the effectiveness of advertising campaigns.
Now the whole market experiences difficulties running product tests on Facebook, with Facebook losing out on a large proportion of user acquisition spend as a result.
On a positive note, these changes have forced us to delve deeper into other purchasing channels, as well as change and refine our approach to testing new product ideas.
We have also run more technological experiments on the marketing side to learn how to increase user acquisition through web traffic.
Which mobile game do you think had the biggest impact on the industry this year?
There were loads of great titles released this year. There are several key players who have established certain trends in game mechanics, but it’s hard to pick the one that was most impactful in the whole of 2021.
In terms of hypercasual titles, I’ve instead picked a top five, which are: Join Clash, Blob Runner, Count Masters, Among Us, and High Heels.
What is your top and/or favourite mobile game of 2021?
I’d say each of the hypercasual games mentioned above has the potential to be the best as each of them influenced the development of the market in 2021 in their own way.
I would also mention Gismart’s Body Race and Pencil Rush among my favorites for this year that also showed great market performance generating together a huge audience of almost 100 million.
In terms of Gismart, what's the thing you're most proud of during 2021?
In November we reached 1 billion download total downloads. Overall, our focus this year was on strengthening and growing our positions in priority business areas: games, entertainment applications and wellness products.
Deep-casual games, which are characterised by long gaming sessions and high LTV also continue to generate great interest.
Over the past 12 months, we have released over 20 mobile and HTML5 games. Some of our most successful game releases this year are
- Body Race (50+ million downloads),
- Pencil Rush (40+ million downloads),
- Foil Turning (40+ million downloads) and
- Cross Logic Puzzle.
We have also launched two new titles on Snap Games – Crazy Run and Friends Quest.
What do you think will be the biggest trend over the next 12 months?
New trends born from the rise of the pandemic back in 2020 remained persistent throughout 2021. For instance, users continued to play more and for longer per session. The hypercasual market, in turn, responded with the emergence of a new subgenre, Idle Arcade, where developers continue to look for new game mechanics to attract users.
Deep-casual games, which are characterised by long gaming sessions and high LTV (Lifetime Value), also continue to generate great interest, which allows for increasing the user acquisition costs.
What are you most looking forward to in 2022?
In 2022 we’re going to continue expanding and developing our product portfolio.
One of our main goals for 2022, in terms of the hypercasual niche, is to stay consistently in the top 5 publishers. We are also planning to release four new casual titles and will begin developing two large-scale casual games.
You can check out all of our 2021 in Review interviews here.