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The US accounted for 53.5% of casual game installs in Q3, but what are the hottest genres globally?

Monopoly GO and Subway Surfers prove to be the quarter’s most downloaded games
The US accounted for 53.5% of casual game installs in Q3, but what are the hottest genres globally?
Date Type Companies Involved Key Datapoint
Dec 5, 2023 report Gamelight 53.5% casual installs in US
  • The US accounted for 53.5% of casual game installs last quarter, 57.3% of action installs and 62.4% of card game installs
  • The Japanese market accounted for 51.9% of RPG installs
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Advertising analyst Apptica and gaming UA platform Gamelight have released a new report assessing the state of play in Q3 2023, collating data from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store spanning 37 countries across the period of July to September this year.

The research hones in on the US, UK, Japan, South Korea, France and Germany in particular, revealing which genres are most successful and where, both in download numbers and in in-app purchase revenues.

Gaming by region

Breaking down the downloads by region from the six focus areas, Apptica and Gamelight found that the US accounted for 53.5% of casual game installs last quarter, as well as 57.3% of action installs and a huge 62.4% of card game installs.

Word games proved popular too with 58.6% of downloads having occurred in the US. In fact, it was the United States that took the largest share of downloads overall.

The US was also the biggest overall spender in the market in Q3, with the report finding a whopping 84.3% of casino games’ in-app revenues were generated from US players. The US also spent the most on board games, family games and casual games, accounting for 75.2%, 68.3% and 62.8% of earnings respectively.

Yet, the genre with the vastest disparity between regions was music games, with Japan taking an incredible majority; in fact, the Japanese market accounted for a gigantic 89.5% of in-app purchase revenues earned by music games, solidifying just how lucrative the genre is there despite over 75% of its downloads being attributable to the US, France and Germany.

Less shocking, though still impressive, is Japanese gamers’ 51.9% share of RPG spending. The genre has long been popular in the region, even with its own JRPG subgenre, and Sensor Tower’s recent Japan-specific report found that RPGs are leading the charge in terms of mobile revenue by some margin.

The biggest games

Apptica and Gamelight found Monopoly GO to be the most downloaded game on iOS overall last quarter while on Android Subway Surfers came out on top, sustaining its success since accelerating to one million downloads per day.

Monopoly GO was also the highest Android revenue earner in the US, unsurprising when the game reached the $1 billion mark in only seven months. It topped the Google Play and Apple App Store revenue charts for France, too.

In Japan, Fate/Grand Order generated $48.9 million on Android and 50.7 million on iOS through Q3. Niantic’s newest title Monster Hunter Now and miHoYo’s Genshin Impact saw some of the highest playtimes in the region, while Nexon’s RPG Blue Archive and Bluepoch’s debut time travel gacha Reverse: 1999 have found their shares of success too.

All in all, a total of 2.41 billion game downloads occurred across the six studied regions in the third quarter of 2023. The US accounted for 1.28 billion of those, actually a 5% slip from Q3 2022, but the UK rose by 14%, Japan by 7% and South Korea by 32%.

In terms of revenue for the quarter, the six regions combined made up 59% of worldwide earnings in games with $6.25 billion.

The full report, Mobile Games: state of the market & playtime benchmarks, contains further insights into the top performers, most played games and more. It also reveals which major genres were 700% more successful in downloads on Android than iOS.