UK attracts $545m in ad spend in 2022 and role-playing games top for growth

A new report suggests that 2023 will see increased scrutiny of marketing strategies

UK attracts $545m in ad spend in 2022 and role-playing games top for growth

Nearly $26.7b was spent on gaming app install ads worldwide, the latest report by games marketing analysis firm Appsflyer has revealed. The United States led the way with almost half of this share at $12.2bn, while Japan came second with $2bn. The UK meanwhile commanded $545m in ad spend.

Additional data from the report shows that although Android app installs grew, iOS installs dropped slightly. The worldwide increase was 8% growth year-on-year for Android, with a -5% drop for iOS. The difference is echoed in data specifically for the UK, where although Android saw a smaller growth of only 3%, iOS saw a much larger drop of -9%.

In terms of growth, in the UK the most popular category was role-playing games which saw a huge 177% surge on iOS and 101% on Android. Casino games followed with a 16% and 56% increase respectively. Other categories slid in popularity with hypercasual in particular - which has seen some scepticism about its future - slipping by -17% on iOS but with a 9% increase on Android.

Director for product, gaming at Appsflyer, Adam Smart told us, “The UK remains an important market for gaming app marketers, commanding $545 million in gaming app install ad spend, despite challenging economic circumstances, the post-Covid reality, and navigating the new age of privacy,” he said.

Smart went on to discuss how the market would react and what changes companies can expect. “There’s been some clear adjustment required by marketers to make the most of the engagement opportunities the gaming industry presents, including leveraging owned channels. Understanding how to utilise available data in a privacy-compliant way via SKAN and Google Privacy Sandbox, in conjunction with emerging channels such as CTV, will allow mobile gaming app marketers to successfully target gaming populations.”

Weathering the mobile storm

Appsflyer's report chimes in with similar predictions that 2023 will be a time of change, with challenges most likely continuing into 2024. As the Covid peaks die down and so do the post-Covid downturns, the future direction of the mobile gaming industry is being challenged, especially in terms of finding and operating the most effective marketing strategy.

Director of market insights at Appsflyer, Shani Rosenfelder commented. “If 2021 and the first quarter of 2022 was the golden age of gaming, the second half of 2022 and especially 2023 will be a time that marketers, developers and studios will need to overcome challenges to adopt highly-focused, efficient strategies for attracting and inspiring loyal, valuable players.”

Staff Writer

Iwan is a Cardiff-based freelance writer, who joined the Pocket Gamer Biz site fresh-faced from University before moving to the editorial team in November of 2023.