Half of the top grossing mobile games worldwide in 2021 utilised a season pass amongst other monetisation mechanics implemented in the games.
According to Sensor Tower, the games included Honor of Kings, PUBG Mobile, and Genshin Impact, with shooter games accounting for three of the top 10 grossing games that feature a season pass.
Sensor Tower attributes the popularity of season passes to Fortnite and although the majority of mobile games that include a season pass are midcore titles, the phenomenon has spread to casual titles, such as Candy Crush Saga and Gardenscapes.
For example, following season pass introduction in Gardenscapes, developer Playrix saw its revenues for the game increase 85 per cent week-over-week.
The most widely used monetisation mechanic is ad removal, which is led by casual titles that account for 90 per cent of games that use this option due to the reliance of the genre on ads for monetisation.
Comparatively, gacha mechanics are widely used for midcore games, particularly titles from Asia, with midcore games accounting for 82 per cent of games that use a gacha mechanic. Furthermore, IP plays an important role in the lucrativity of gacha games, with half of all of the top grossing gacha games in the US featuring a popular IP, such as Star Trek Fleet Command and Marvel Strike Force.
Earlier this week, GameRefinery released a report that highlighted the importance of seasonal events in boosting in-game revenue, with Valentine’s Day and Chinese New Year causing boosts across the industry last month.