Sensor Tower uses game taxonomy and game intelligence capabilities to segment games into related genres and sub-genres to effectively identify key trends. It analyzes 14 major game genres in 1H22 versus 1H21. View Revenue and downloads for each category of mobile games in the U.S. App Store and Google Play. As the market faces many challenges, by looking at the first half as well as the second quarter, we can get a clearer picture of how the market is facing in the face of the global cost of living crisis, inflation, IDFA headwinds, and other issues.
Arcade was the fastest-rising genre, with player spending increasing 14.8% year over year to about $176 million. The arcade sub-genre with the most player spending was idle games, which grossed nearly $88 million, up 35.3% year over year. The No. 1 arcade game by player spend was Gigantic’s Clawwee, which generated $16.5 million in the US in the first half of the year. It was followed by AppQuantum Publishing’s Gold and Goblins at No. 2, and Century Games’ Leisure Mafia at No. 3.
The second-fastest revenue-growing genre in 1H22 was tabletop games, up about 1% year-over-year to nearly $388.8 million. All other mobile game genres saw a decline in overall player spending in the first half of the year, with racing games seeing the biggest drop at 28.8%. The puzzle category was the top spender in the first half of 2012, reaching $2.3 billion, down 8.8 percent year over year. It was followed by the second-ranked casino category, which generated $2.2 billion, and strategy games, which generated a cumulative $2 billion.
Analysed from the second quarter of 2022 alone, arcades remained the fastest-growing genre in terms of revenue, with player spending increasing by about 18% year over year to $89.4 million. Meanwhile, hyper-casual games came in second, with player spending rising 2.3% to $27.3 million. All other genres experienced a decline again, with racing games down 38% in revenue.
Compared with the same period in 2021, action games saw the fastest growth in downloads in the first half of this year, up 5.4% year-on-year to 54.7 million. The most downloaded action game was Action Sandbox, whose downloads grew 2.3% year-over-year to 15.7 million installs. The most downloaded action game was “Genshin Impact” by miHoYo with 2.3 million cumulative downloads, followed by “Galaxy Attack: Space Shooter” from Rocket Go Global, which came in second.
Sports games were the only category not to see a year-over-year decline in downloads, remaining at around 66 million installs. Among the game genres with declining revenue, simulation games saw the slowest decline, down 1.8% year-on-year to approximately 168 million plays. In the first half of 2012, hyper-casual games ranked first with the most downloads, generating 718.2 million installs, down 13.7% year-on-year. At the same time, the puzzle category ranked second in downloads, and the arcade category ranked third.