The news: The mobile gaming segment saw declines in 2022 as gamers moved from casual to more complex hybrid-casual titles. We can expect continued consolidation and multi-platform releases in 2023, per SensorTower.
- Inflation had a significant impact on the mobile games market, affecting user acquisition costs, revenue per install, and consumer spending habits.
- Hybrid-casual games, which blend the ease of use with more complex features like character collection, progression, and download packs, had a 14% increase in downloads in 2022.
- Action games registered a 13% YoY increase in downloads. Key titles in this category include shoot-em-ups like Survivor.io and action sandbox games like School Party Craft, which features crafting elements like Roblox.
What’s next for 2023: The mobile game industry is expected to see more growth in AAA titles as publishers invest in quality that can compete with premium console and PC games.
- Call of Duty: Mobile, Genshin Impact, and League of Legends: Wild Rift, are some examples of successful mobile iterations of console and PC games.
- There will be more multiplatform releases as developers use cloud gaming and cross-play features to reach wider audiences and increase retention.
- Developers will continue to focus on casual and mid-core games that offer deeper gameplay and monetization.
- Cloud gaming will continue to grow as more mobile games offer multiplayer options and cross-platform compatibility.
The opportunity: Today’s premium smartphones are powerful and capable enough to run more demanding mobile games, and their always-connected features will help drive up engagement.
- Portable console makers like Nintendo and Steam might consider adding 5G capability to their devices to enable ubiquitous access and true mobile gaming to compete with iPhones and Android flagships.
- Carriers and service providers can lean into the popularity of mobile gaming by looking at gaming-specific data plans or by investing in cloud-gaming infrastructure.