When Apple launched the iPhone in 2007, few people thought that it will be the spark to start a veritable revolution. Since then, mobile has become the fastest-growing segment in many areas – especially in gaming, where it generates more than half of the entire industry’s revenues. Mobile games are the third-most-popular app type downloaded and used on a global scale, with half of all smartphone users playing them daily, on par with listening to music on the go. As opposed to desktop gaming, though, mobile games appeal to every gender and every demographic almost equally.
Every year, there are a few standout mobile games that are in the spotlight, showing amazing growth and pocketing millions a day. Last year, it was “Call of Duty Mobile”, followed by “PUBG Mobile” on both major platforms. But when it comes to the masses, their genre – the first-person shooter – comes nowhere near the popularity of others.
There are many games that spend a few weeks in the top list each year – and there are others that consistently linger there for years on end. And most of them are puzzle games. I guess every smartphone owner out there has tried the famous “Candy Crush Saga” or one of its spinoffs at least once. And for many, it “stuck”. Aside from the popular “match-3” franchise, there are many others that, while not breaking any records, are consistent in their popularity.
Casino games are one of them. There are millions of smartphone users out there who play the same games you find at the Betway casino on their mobile phones, spending virtual dollars and winning virtual jackpots. The slots and table games you can play on the go fit into the hyper-casual category, maintaining popularity across all major mobile platforms for years.
Real-time multiplayer games
Games offering a “player vs. player” (PvP) game mode have seen a lot of growth in the last few years – and this growth culminated in 2019. The game with the most downloads last year was Garena Free Fire, with more than 20 million downloads in December 2019 alone. Of course, it had to share the podium with other show-stoppers: Call of Duty Mobile, part of the most popular video game franchise of the last decade, with 8 million downloads in December, and Tencent’s PUBG Mobile, released in 2018, that was chosen by more than 10 million new users in the same month.
Finally, here’s a genre that was all the rage in 2018 but kept a lot of its flair in 2019 as well: MOBAs, or multiplayer online battle arenas. The title to dominate the top lists all over the world late last year was Tencent’s MOBA called “Honor of Kings” (Arena of Valor in the West), one of the most successful titles in its genre to ever hit the market. Last December alone, the game clocked in at around 100,000 downloads (over 1 million for the Chinese version) and generated close to $100 million in revenues for the Chinese communications giant. Among the other popular titles last year, we find Supercell’s “Brawl Stars”, “Iron League”, “Heroes of Order and Chaos”, and “Vainglory”, often called a “League of Legends” clone on mobile, that has maintained its popularity and player count since its release in 2015.