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Q3's biggest genres saw 700% more downloads on Google Play than Apple App Store

A total of 12.36 billion downloads across top three Android genres VS 1.54 billion on iOS
Q3's biggest genres saw 700% more downloads on Google Play than Apple App Store
Date Type Companies Involved Key Datapoint
Dec 5, 2023 report Apptica.com Gamelight 700% more Play Store downloads
  • Apptica and Gamelight's report reveals that casual games continue to reign supreme on mobile
  • Top five genres on iOS broke 100 million installs last quarter VS top 15 on Android

In-app advertising analyst Apptica has teamed up with mobile gaming UA platform Gamelight to assess the state of the games industry in Q3 2023, collecting data from the Apple App Store, Google Play Store, and their own platforms.

By breaking down results based on the two app store platforms, the report provides useful insight into which genres performed the best in the last quarter and, importantly, where.

Download deluge

The report reveals that casual games continue to reign supreme on mobile, claiming the top spot for the most-downloaded genre on both app stores, closely followed by action while simulation games round out the top three. Despite the similarity here, downloads were significantly greater on the Play Store with the top three genres accounting for 12.36 billion installs - more than 700% higher than the Apple App Store’s 1.54 billion.

Puzzle games ranked fourth on both stores, but from fifth place onwards the variations are extreme. On Google Play, for example, arcade and educational games ranked in the top 10 while absent from the Apple App Store list. Meanwhile, on iOS family games and word games claimed higher positions but didn't make the top 15 on Android.

The download disparity is further exemplified with RPGs, ranking fifth on iOS and ninth on Android, and yet the total installs were significantly higher on Google Play; in fact, RPGs only saw 124 million downloads on the Apple App Store compared to 499 million on the Play Store.

Interestingly, only the top five genres on iOS broke 100 million installs last quarter, while the top 15 on Android surpassed the nine-figure mark.

Deep pockets

Despite the vastly higher install numbers on Android, it is clear that Apple users are bigger spenders, with the report revealing that 56% of in-app purchases were made on iOS in the third quarter. RPGs saw the highest rates of spending, having generated $1.33 billion on Apple versus $930.64 million on Android even despite the latter yielding quadruple the download numbers.

Strategy games came second, again led by in-app purchases from iOS users with $745 million versus $628.47 million. The action genre claimed third on Apple and fifth on Android, where instead it was the casual genre that rounded out the top three with $520.49 million generated in the third quarter alone.

The full report, Mobile Games: State of the Market & Playtime Benchmarks, contains further insights into the top 15 genres on each platform.

Mistplay, meanwhile, has revealed which genres have the most loyal fans, with indications as to how developers can best improve loyalty in their games.