According to Sensor Tower, US consumer spending on money- and treasure-themed mobile games reached $4.4 billion, making it the US’ highest-grossing games theme in 2021.
The money and treasure theme includes games such as Coin Master and Bingo Blitz, and was followed by empire building and tabletop games, which were second and third respectively.
The fastest growing theme in terms of revenue was animal/insect, which generated $26.5 million, representing an increase of 904 per cent year-over-year. Sensor Tower attributed the majority of this growth to The Ants: Underground Kingdom from StarUnion, which accounted for 89.6 per cent of consumer spending.
The second-fastest growing theme was fashion/aesthetics/hair, which increased 274 per cent, followed by shooting/hunting themed games which saw a rise of 226 per cent.
Money on their minds
Outside of theme, the fastest-growing game setting in 2021 was historical, which saw revenues rise 32 per cent year-over-year to $1.4 billion. The second-fastest growing setting was high fantasy with an increase of 14.4 per cent in player spending, reaching $5.4 billion, meanwhile sci-fi ranked third with a 6.6 per cent increase to $2.4 billion.
In terms of US consumer spending, the leading setting was modern, which generated $6.3 billion throughout the course of the year. This was followed by high fantasy in second place and cartoon fantasy in third.
The most popular mobile game art style in the US was neon, which saw revenues rise 114 per cent to $20 million. Despite its strong growth, neon generated the smallest amount of revenue of all of the art styles examined by Sensor Tower.
The hypercasual art style ranked in second place with consumer spending rising 70.4 per cent to $46.5 million, followed by 3D anime with an increase of 58 per cent to $906 million.
The highest-grossing art style was 2D cartoon at $12 billion, followed by 2D realistic and then 3D realistic.
Last week, Sensor Tower released a report that found that 20 per cent of all metaverse related apps on the App Store and Google Play were mobile games, and that early metaverse projects are focused around NFTs and cryptocurrencies.