US consumers spent nearly 62 per cent more on simulation games in 2020 than they did in 2019, according to Sensor Tower.
Of the 12 main mobile games genres, simulation saw the most growth as player spending was up 61.8 per cent year-on-year, having generated $2 billion.
Moreover, the sandbox sub-genre proved to be the most lucrative at $936 million, an 86.2 per cent rise year-on-year. Roblox was the primary source behind the impressive growth, as the game grossed $746.4 million in the US last year.
Roblox had a successful year in 2020, as the games platform crossed $2 billion in mobile player spending in October. The company will hope to keep its momentum going as it goes public via a direct listing.
Meanwhile, the casino genre was the second-fastest-growing genre with $4.5 billion via player spending, an increase of 49 per cent year-on-year. Moreover, casino was the top-earning category last year.
Moving on, lifestyle proved to be the third fastest-growing genre. It generated $770.5 million after experiencing a 47.5 per cent year-over-year growth. The top five genres were rounded off with shooter and RPG, which grew 42.6 per cent and 40.8 per cent in player spending, respectively.
However, on the downloads front, the casino genre came out on top. Across its top 100 games, the category racked up 163 million downloads in the US, a growth rate of 27.5 per cent year-on-year. Moreover, with 79 million downloads, slots proved to be the most popular sub-category.
Meanwhile, the puzzle genre was the second-fastest-growing category via downloads, as it accumulated 503 million installs, an increase of 19.5 per cent year-on-year. Furthermore, it was also the second-largest category through earnings as it generated $4.4 billion.
Simulation came in third when it came to downloads. The genre experienced a rise of 11.2 per cent as it generated 238.5 million installs.
Surprisingly, in the US, the hypercasual genre saw a drop of 12.3 per cent when it came to downloads, with its top 100 titles picking up 781.2 million installs. However, worldwide, the genre grew by more than one billion downloads.