CPI for casual games has fallen, while ROAS has increased

Mobile gaming is now three times the size of its closest competitor

CPI for casual games has fallen, while ROAS has increased

A new report by Liftoff has delved into the casual genre, as it continues to define its place in the post-pandemic world.

Although the pandemic saw record-breaking consumer spending on mobile gaming, revenue has dropped since restrictions were lifted as the market normalised, leading to the first ever drop in year-on-year user spending.

Despite this normalisation, mobile gaming is now over three times the size of its next closest competitor console gaming, and casual gaming is projected to grow steadily.

Cost per install (CPI) has fallen sharply year-on-year, falling from an average of $1.96 to $1.10. Of the three subgenres of casual gaming, simulation is identified as the one with the lowest CPI with $0.91. Puzzle games come in second at $1.12, while lifestyle titles have the highest CPI at $1.40.

Return on ad spend (ROAS) rates increased from 7.31 percent to 10.96 percent on day seven, and from 17.81 percent to 29.6 percent on day 30. This suggests that players are more invested in the genre, spending more time in-game and viewing more ads.

Lifestyle reigns supreme

Despite having the highest CPI, lifestyle titles also have the highest ROAS with 10.57 percent on day 7 and 22.56 percent on day two. This is followed by simulation (d7 9.54 percent, d30 22 percent) and puzzle (d7 6.28 percent, d30 16.06 percent).

31.60 percent of users viewed advertisements to completion. Hidden object games saw the highest number of ads viewed to completion, with 90.52 percent – just shy of 60 percent above the median. Colouring games came in second place at 69.03 percent, closely followed by comics titles at 69.02 percent.

Rewarded ads were the ad category with the highest completion rates. Match 3 titles saw the highest proportion of advertisements watched to completion, with 97.85 percent, followed by puzzle board games at 97.46 percent.

Following the changes to Apple’s ATT policies, user acquisition is now less than a third of the cost on Android than on iOS - $0.75, compared to $2.27. However, ROAS rates are similar across both markets.

The report singles out Latin America as the region with the lowest average CPI in the casual genre at $0.66 percent. At $3.32, North America has the highest average CPI. Latin America has proven to be a key market for a variety of genres of mobile title. Earlier this week, we reported on a Newzoo study regarding the Brazilian gaming market.


Staff Writer

Lewis Rees is a journalist, author, and escape room enthusiast based in South Wales. He got his degree in Film and Video from the University of Glamorgan. He's been a gamer all his life.