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Mobile games ad revenue grew by 8% last year

First-day in-app purchases had an increase of more than 50%
Mobile games ad revenue grew by 8% last year

Mobile games ad revenue grew eight per cent year-on-year in 2020, according to Unity's recent gaming report.

When looking at individual genres, the card category showed the greatest growth in ad revenue, with a rise of 108 per cent year-over-year.

It was followed by the trivia and board genres, which boasted a growth rate of 87.5 per cent and 82.3 per cent, respectively.

The top five categories for ad revenue growth was rounded off with puzzle and casual with 79.6 per cent and 79.5 per cent, respectively.

However, all but one genre saw an increase in ads revenue last year. Sports saw a decline of 26.7 per cent.

Among surveyed developers, it was found that the majority were concerned about lower levels of player enjoyment when considering the frequency of ads.

"While developers were not as concerned about increased player churn with ad frequency in 2020 as in previous years, they're showing more interest in holistic measurements like lower player enjoyment and store ratings," said Unity.

"Potential loss of IAP revenue as a concern decreased significantly compared to 2019, as developers have become more thoughtful about their ad implementation."

Splashing cash

Meanwhile, the number of day one in-app purchases being made was up more than 50 per cent year-on-year.

"First-day IAP purchases in mobile games spiked with the springtime lockdowns around the world, but quickly ramped back up during the summer and were sustained throughout the rest of the year," reads the report.

The monetisation method proved to be the most lucrative for the majority of genres, the exceptions being arcade and word, where IAPs accounted for 37 per cent and 20 per cent of earnings, respectively.

The success experienced by the mobile platform can partly be attributed to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, as the popularity of smartphone games spiked towards the beginning of the pandemic.

However, Unity pointed out that this trend settled back down as 2020 progressed when people were allowed to leave their houses with the removal of lockdown restrictions.

Last year, the time consumers spent playing games during the week increased by 52 per cent, a direct result of lockdown measures enforced. Previously, weekend gaming was more popular.

Bit of insight

In the report, it was found that 61 per cent of respondents used Unity to develop their games, while 15 per cent use custom tech, with five per cent choosing GameMaker: Studio.

Furthermore, Unity gave insight into its business statistics, revealing that it boasts 2.8 billion monthly active users and that 5 billion downloads per month are apps that used its platform.

For this report, Unity dipped into its base of 60,000 developers and 300,000 apps. However, it did not specify just how many it used to gather data.

Moreover, it also "leveraged data from Unity's deltaDNA platform, Vivox, and Multiplay services, all part of Unity Operate Solutions. These powerful gaming solutions span both mobile and PC/console gaming, which gives us a wide view of the entire gaming industry."