The evolution of gaming habits has paralleled the broader digital transformation, progressing from traditional cardboard games to video and console gaming and eventually culminating in the popularity of gaming apps on mobile devices.
A growing number of individuals are engaging in gaming while on the move. Statista Consumer Insights reveals that the games market holds the leading position within the overall apps market, generating the highest revenue when compared to other categories of apps.
In 2022, apps generated a total revenue of $473 billion, with gaming apps contributing a significant $225 billion. The gaming apps market has a distinct approach to revenue generation. Unlike traditional video gaming, where game sales drive the majority of revenue, gaming apps primarily rely on in-app purchases, utilizing the freemium app business model. While the basic game is often free, players have the option to purchase additional features within the app to enhance their gaming experience.
A new level
This represents a new level of e-Commerce, as identified by AppMagic, where the most successful gaming apps are determined based on total in-app revenue. In the puzzle game category, two clear leaders stand out in terms of revenue generated from in-app purchases: Royal Match, developed by Turkish company Dream Game, and Candy Crush Saga, created by Maltese gaming development company King. Both games are highly popular match-3 games. Puzzle games like Royal Match and Candy Crush Saga dominate the casual gaming genre when it comes to generating revenue through in-app purchases.
Among the top 10 casual games, six belong to the puzzle subcategory. Coin Master and MONOPOLY GO!, two trading games, are closely trailing behind the leaders with revenues of $47.3 billion and $59.2 billion respectively in July 2023.
Games remain at the forefront in 2022, with users making a staggering $167 billion in in-app purchases throughout 2022. Within that amount, in-game purchases contributed to 66 percent of the total. A significant 98 percent of all gaming revenue from in-store purchases is derived from in-app purchases (IAPs), with the AppStore accounting for 50 percent, Google Play for 27 percent, and the remaining share coming from third-party Android app stores.
In 2022, hyper-casual games emerged as the dominant genre for generating mobile ad revenue. Other casual genres such as puzzle and simulation also contributed significantly. The top five mobile game genres collectively accounted for over 50 percent of all ad revenue generated by mobile apps across various ad networks.
The U.S. took the lead, representing 46 percent of all advertising revenue. Candy Crush Saga, ROBLOX, Coin Master, Royal Match, and Pokémon GO ranked in the U.S. among the top ten most profitable games.
Furthermore, the app economy is worth around $500 billion, of which $336 billion (67 percent) comes from advertising and $167 billion (33 percent) from in-app purchases. Apps including Instagram and TikTok captured roughly 65 percent of this advertising spend, while games snagged 35 percent. This is the opposite of the dynamic seen with in-app purchases, where games account for the majority of app store consumer spend at 66 percent, while apps capture the smaller portion at 34 percent.
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