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Why are people uninstalling games ahead of other apps?

Games are seeing the largest portion of uninstalls in any category of app, so why is this happening?
Why are people uninstalling games ahead of other apps?
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According to new data on uninstall rates, it appears that of all app genres, games are often the first to go when mobile owners are deleting apps.

According to AppsFlyer's latest data, 66% of uninstalls consisted of gaming apps in the January 2021 to October 2022 period. Travel apps saw the lowest rate at only 31%. Uninstalls of games that had been installed non-organically also rose by 13%. Be it to save space or simply to tidy up, it seems that games are the sacrificial lamb when it comes to uninstallations.

Clearing House

So why is this happening? Well, if we parse this data, we can make some summations. For one, we can compare the types of apps and the circumstances that they were acquired in. Travel apps include rewards programmes, flight, train or other ticket-purchasing methods. These frequently incentivise long-term use and can become part of a person's core app useage. Meanwhile, if we look at another statistic – which is that 49% of uninstalls took place within 24 hours – we see that finance apps fell foul of this the most. Finance apps are of course a broad category, and unless it's a banking app, someone is very likely to be quick to judge whether or not continued use is suitable for them.

So why are games suffering the most from uninstall rates? Games are a luxury unfortunately, and with the saturation of the market, a game's 'disposability' becomes a risk factor. However, while noteworthy, uninstalls are not becoming a larger problem. If anything the situation is improving. AppsFlyer indicates that 49% of apps are now uninstalled within the first 30 days. This represents a welcome 8% drop compared to previous figures.

The data also indicates that games which are installed non-organically are more likely to fall foul of uninstalls. But then it makes sense that games which players actively seek out will be the ones that they want to keep.

It's not a crisis by any stretch of the imagination, but it's still clear that this remains a turbulent time in the market as users choose between luxuries such games and other more 'essential' apps that facilitate travel or finance.