The card battler is a strategy subgenre that received a lot of hits, including big names like Konami’s Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links and Blizzard’s Hearthstone. This year has also seen the emergence of new variants such as Magic: The Gathering Arena from Wizards of the Coast that show new growth areas for the market. Sensor Tower’s new State of Card Battlers report provides an in-depth analysis of the current status of this subgenre and the growth opportunities available.
Card games continue to grow in popularity very quickly
While the card battler subgenre is relatively small compared to 4X Strategy and MOBA games, it has seen a surge in growth this year. In the second quarter of 2021, downloads increased by 23 percent quarter-on-quarter, thanks to the rise in popularity of the new version of Magic: The Gathering Arena and Mighty Party from Panoramic Games. Previously, the emergence of new Auto Chess games like Tencent’s Auto Chess by the same name as Dragonest and also Tencent’s Chess Rush led to an increase in downloads in Q3 2019.
The growth of the card battler subgenre contrasts with other subcategories as the only subcategory to experience significant growth in the second quarter of 2021, while downloads of other subgenres appear to have remained stable or declining.
Card games started to change the balance in the global market
Historically, the card battler subgenre has seen the majority of its revenue come from Asian markets. In 2019, Japan accounted for 43 percent of total player spend in the category, while China accounted for 14 percent.
However, in 2020, Japan’s market share fell to 39 percent as the card game market in the US reached a 21 percent share. This trend continued in the first half of 2021, with the US holding a market share of 27 percent while Japan slumped to 29 percent.
What are the best card games on the market?
Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links was the highest-grossing card battler game in the first half of 2021, generating a combined $110 million in worldwide player spending. Japan generated 33 percent of its revenue, while the US accounted for 27 percent, making it one of the few successful global card battle games in these key markets.
Six of the top 10 card battler games derive most of their revenue from Asian markets such as China and Japan. However, Magic: The Gathering Arena, a new card game in space released this year, is giving early signs that it could be a revenue-generating global success in both the US and Japan.
You can download the full version of The State of Card Battler Mobile Games 2021, which is the report prepared by Sensor Tower specifically for card games and provides the analysis of the best card games on the market, from this link.