According to Sensor Tower Store Intelligence analysis, player spend on action-type mobile games in the United States increased nearly 104 percent in the first half of 2021 compared to the first half of 2020, making it the fastest-growing mobile game genre in terms of revenue.
Using Game Taxonomy and Game Intelligence to help publishers effectively identify key trends, Sensor Tower segments games into related genres and subgenres and analyzes the U.S. revenues and downloads for each of the 14 major game genres in the first half of 2021 across the App Store and Google Play. Focusing on the first half and second quarter of the year, Sensor Tower has revealed a clearer picture of how the global COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting lockdown are affecting certain strains and how the market is performing as the global vaccine program continues to expand.
Most popular mobile game genres revealed
Data shows that the action genre was the fastest-growing genre and the number of players increased by 103.8 percent compared to the previous year and reached 435.7 million dollars. In player spending, the fighting subgenre has brought in $183.3 million, up 27.7 percent year-over-year. The #1 action game by player spending was Genshin Impact from miHoYo, which generated close to $174 million in the US in the first half of the year. It was followed by Marvel Contest of Champions at #2 by Kabam and Dragon Ball Legends by Bandai Namco at #3.
The second fastest-growing genre in terms of revenue in the first half of 2021 was hyper-casual, rising 60.4 percent year-over-year to approximately $59 million. The tabletop genre, on the other hand, was ranked 3rd, with player spending increasing 41.7 percent year over year to almost $389 million.
The puzzle genre was the largest category, reaching $2.6 billion in the first half of 2021, up 18.6 percent. It was followed by the casino with $2.5 billion in revenue and the strategy with $2.2 billion.
The mobile gaming industry is constantly changing due to the pandemic
Each genre saw a decrease in downloads in the first half of the year compared to 2020, the peak of the first COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown. The genre that saw the smallest decline was the strategy, with downloads down 4.4 percent year-over-year to 71.7 million in the first half of 2021. The top strategy subgenre for downloads was the 4X Strategy, with downloads increasing about 2 percent year-over-year to approximately 28.6 million downloads. The #1 strategy game was Top War by Top War Studio, which amassed 4.2 million downloads, followed by FunPlus’ State of Survival at #2 and Supercell’s Clash of Clans at #3.
Hyper-casual ranked #1 with the most downloads during the first half of 2021 with 830.2 million installs, down 6.5 percent year on year. Meanwhile, the puzzle genre ranked 2nd for downloads, while the arcade genre ranked 3rd.