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Mobile Players: Can We Have Your Attention, Please?

adjoe and Statista’s latest report reveals adventure, card, and action games now draw the longest engagement
Mobile Players: Can We Have Your Attention, Please?

Nobody likes to be told they’re attention-seeking. But at a time when more publishers in the mobile gaming economy are struggling to drive longer sessions from their players, attention is exactly what these publishers are seeking.

adjoe and Statista explore attention – that is, daily app usage – in their latest Mobile Games Index 2023 report. The Index reveals that the average time spent in Android mobile games was 17.3 minutes between April 2022 and April 2023. A fair drop from just below 22 minutes the previous year.

What’s the source of this recent slump in session duration? The ready-to-digest Index breaks down app usage data into six regions, ten gaming genres, five age groups, and gender.

Which Genre Generates the Longest Daily Sessions?

Action, adventure, card, casino, casual, puzzle, role-playing, simulation, strategy, and word games. The Index maps out (literally) the average daily session duration for each of the ten gaming genres, which all saw a drop in daily session durations by up to 26 percent compared with 2021 data.

But don’t dwell on this drop, which comes after an unsurprising shift in user behaviour following Covid-19 lockdowns and restrictions. Publishers should instead draw inspiration from the genres - and the top titles within each genre - that are enjoying high engagement and driving the longest session durations.

According to the Index, these are adventure games at 19.7 minutes per day, followed by card games at 18.2 minutes and action games at 17.6 minutes.

Igor Myrgorodskyi, adjoe's Director of Business Operations, said: "Deconstructing the mechanics that make each genre successful and then building titles with this hybrid-genre approach will be a game-changer for driving longer session times and higher engagement. The biggest winners in the Index are the titles that incorporate story-telling adventure twists into a traditional game like Solitaire."

“...building titles with this hybrid-genre approach will be a game-changer”
Igor Myrgorodskyi

Which Publishers Are Perfecting the Attention Metric?

The Mobile Games Index doesn’t just celebrate the most successful genres for driving the longest gameplay. It also applauds the publishers and game developers that are most effectively generating the longest daily sessions.

Flicking through the rankings, you’ll recognise renowned publishers such as Supercell, King, Outfit7, Playrix, and FunPlus, which have come out on top of their respective gaming genres. Not just with one title but with up to four titles across the board.

Casual games suffered the most significant decline in daily app usage. Europe, Latin America, and Africa all reported drops in session durations of 28 percent compared with previous data from 2021. It’s in this casual gaming genre where we see the fiercest competition among established developers in the rankings. In four regions, King, Outfit7, and Playrix together make up 60 percent or more of the top-ten casual titles.

Attention Is a Two-Way Street

Since users are spending five percent less money on their apps, persuading them to spend more time in gameplay is critical. With the Index, publishers can set new, relevant, realistic benchmarks - not based on those set during the pandemic - and understand how their target audience’s behaviour and attention span is shifting.

The name of the game is all about being attention-seeking and retention-seeking. By paying attention to users’ attention and how their engagement time is shrinking, publishers will be equipped with the insights they need to tweak in-app events and engagement mechanisms to either retain users or monetise their users more effectively.

After all, the Index demonstrates that demand and opportunity to monetise haven’t declined. All ten gaming genres will see both downloads and revenue grow by 2027.

You can download the full Mobile Game Index 2023 - powered by adjoe and Statista - and data from 54,000 gaming apps, 94 million users here for free.