A new report has revealed that midcore titles made up 35% of revenue on iOS in the United states.
The findings come courtesy of analytics firm Liftoff’s latest Midcore Gaming Market report, which broke down many aspects of the performance of midcore titles in the current mobile market. The report also revealed that 70% of the top grossing midcore titles were part of the strategy genre, perhaps partially attributable to the lower CPI - shooters stood at $7.47 CPI, while strategy was only $2.77, with RPGs lowest at only $0.60.
Shooters and strategy games were also almost tied when it came to D7 ROAS (Day seven return-on-ad-spend), with shooters at 6% and strategy at 5.4%. Liftoff did note that midcore games struggle to achieve the same ROAS rates as casual gaming genres however.
Joel Julkunen, Head of Analytics at GameRefinery, a Liftoff company, said: “While casual games still dominate mobile, the challenges facing user acquisition, including Apple’s IDFA changes and rising inflation, have caused an increasing number of developers to set their sights on the midcore market.”
He added: “Midcore games are such an enticing prospect for developers, as their enhanced depth enables them to build a more dedicated fanbase with a reliable revenue stream. Those looking to create midcore games must maintain a sizable LiveOps content output to keep players engaged. They also drive a constant flow of IAP bundles and gachas to boost their monetization efforts and attain that much-lauded top-tier status.”
What does this mean?
The first obvious takeaway is that the performance of midcore remains strong overall, despite challenges first from hypercasual and now hybridcasual games.
Liftoff noted that in the top 200 grossing mobile games worldwide, midcore titles outweighed casual games by a large margin. External web stores - which you may note have been used by major developers like Supercell - are also singled out as a growing trend for developers to effectively monetise their titles.
Marvel Snap and Honkai: Star Rail are also singled out as case studies. With Liftoff joining the general consensus which is that the main advantage of these midcore games is that, despite a relatively high barrier of entry, the depth they offer can effectively capture an audience better than more casual titles can.
Liftoff themselves previously touched on the slowing growth of hypercasual, as the genre becomes oversaturated after a major boom over the past few years. It may be that this report is an early indication that midcore will be the next genre to get a boost in popularity.