According to the latest report by Sensor Tower, player spending in mobile sports games in the USA has increased by about 16% in the last year, reaching $648.8 million.
Sensor Tower shared data on the performance of the sports games category, using Game Taxonomy and Game Intelligence, which breaks down games into related genres and subgenres to help publishers effectively identify key trends.
What are the most downloaded and revenue-generating mobile games in the sports category?
Between June 1, 2020, and May 31, 2021, the top-spent sports game in the United States was Golf Clash from Playdemic, which is part of the Arcade Sports subgenre and grossed $132.8 million. The second and third place sports games were 8 Ball Pool from Miniclip and Fishing Clash from Ten Square Games, which are part of the Realistic Sports subgenre.
When it comes to downloads, the sports genre had 129.3 million downloads in 2020, down 16.3% year-over-year. Based on the number of downloads, the most downloaded mobile sports game was 8 Ball Pool with 9.4 million downloads. Madden NFL 21 Mobile from EA took second place, while Basketball Arena from Masomo, owned by Miniclip, took 3rd place.
The Realistic Sports subgenre was the number one source of revenue for the three sports subgenres last year, with player spending increasing 11.4% year-over-year to approach $382 million. At the same time, the fastest-growing subgenre in terms of revenue was Sports Manager, which includes games such as Top Eleven from Nordeus and F1 Clash from Hutch Games, increasing 60.4% year-over-year to nearly $12 million.
The Realistic Sports subgenre also collected more than 75 million downloads, making it the number one subgenre in total downloads. The fastest-growing subgenre for downloads was Sports Manager, increasing 17.8% year-over-year to 3.7 million.
Analyzing revenue per download, Arcade Sports took the lead, with a spend of approximately $5.10 per download over the past year. Realistic Sports is in second place and Sports Manager is in third place. Of course, it should be noted that this metric does not take into account lifetime RPD and therefore historical downloads are not used.
Like any other genre, sports games saw strong growth last year, which can be attributed in part to the global COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns. The sports genre was the No. 10 genre in player spending in the US last year and was relatively low compared to some other categories, but it is clearly a genre that is still generating increased interest and M&A activity. Take-Two recently acquired Top Eleven developer Nordeus for $378 million, while MTG acquired F1 Clash studio Hutch Games for $375 million in 2020. Meanwhile, EA has stated in its latest earnings that it plans to grow its mobile sports business.