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Digital Experience

Get your Game On With Winning Mobile Gaming Genres

Posted by: Nikki Tabberrah

August 12, 2022


Believe it or not  – babies are not what’s booming in this post-covid era. The mobile gaming market is.

So if you’re looking to develop a digital product that can bring in more revenue this year, gaming apps would fit the bill perfectly. With people now living their lives from the palm of their hands, there’s no doubt that it’s the same place they’d turn to for de-stressing or entertainment. Aside from social media and Netflix, mobile games are a favorite mobile destination too. On a developer side, it’s a fairly profitable one in fact.

Last year, the app industry generated over $116 billion in revenue. It is expected to thrive in the next few years with a projected average spend of $138 billion by 2025 according to Sensor Tower. The top three markets contributing to this revenue layout are China, Japan, and the United States, with the US coming in second with over $43 billion. Competition is definitely cut-throat but hey, it’s equally rewarding. In this blog, we came up with a brief round-up of the most popular and profitable genres that you can consider for your next app.


The Most Profitable Gaming Genres 

Puzzle games

In the United States, data shows that puzzle-themed games top the list as the most popular and profitable. This is followed by strategy, card games, casinos, RPGs and hyper-casuals. 

The classic match-3 much like Candy Crush is the preferred sub-genre because they are usually free, easy to play and rewarding with their short-term leaderboards and rankings features. These features along with strong social engagement keep user acquisition and retention high making them one of the most successful ones in the market. 

Its core mechanics are pretty mundane. That’s the beauty of it. It’s simple and straightforward so there’s more room for scaling. Developers can update them with features such as tournaments, limited-time offers or seasonal themes. These strategies are crucial in increasing the game’s lifetime value and in keeping loyal users engaged for the long haul. While other developers venture out into decorating and tile match puzzle games to meet the ever-changing gaming appetite of the puzzle market, match-3 games are generally well-received than others.

Profit opportunities lie in both classic and hybrid monetization schemes including in-app purchases, in-game advertisements and subscriptions. Developers incorporate game passes or extra life packs to turn players into payers. These strategies bank on a player’s frustration when they’re out of moves to take or tap into the concept of inclusivity within the game’s community. Moreover, in-game advertisements successfully generate a ton of revenue through mini-game ads or by rewarding its users with concessions for every video advertisement they watched during their playing period.

Beating competition in this genre requires a strategic approach given the volume of puzzle games being launched daily. UI/UX should be captivating, the gameplay should hit the right balance of ease and complexity, and it should be launched with a strong focus on PR and peer-to-peer recommendations.  Wrapping up this mini-review is an interesting trivia on user demographics. Studies show that puzzle games appeal to highly educated female gamers ages 36-50, who are fully employed with higher net worths, making this genre a promising venture for profit generation.

Open-world Adventure games

Console gaming is more popular in the region but mobile gaming is rapidly catching up as new technological innovations spring into action. Mobile open-world adventure games have a smaller market share compared to other genres in the West. But this could be a promising opportunity for developers looking to gamify their storytelling prowess. Targeting a  younger pool of audience, this genre appeals to the Gen Z and millennials market who can tolerate longer playing times and are more receptive to wanderlust experiences. 

Adventure games can also tap into the rise of advancements such as 5G connectivity and foldable devices. This allows developers to create more immersive game designs through high-resolution assets that can be easily loaded on this new range of smartphones.

Becoming a powerhouse in this genre is no easy feat. Just like any app, all in-app components and strategies must be extensively tested during a soft launch before any worldwide release to ensure success. This includes testing creatives and assets, monetization strategies, app store optimization, marketing, game design, user interface, and game trailers among many others. But one major factor developers should keep a laser focus on from start to finish is user retention. 

Data shows that classic games such as puzzles, boards, casinos and word games can retain double that amount of users after 4 weeks. While adventure games are on the low side weeks after, so consistently improving user retention is vital to strengthening their lifetime value. 

This could be done in various ways:

  • Take advantage of push notifications 
  • Offer daily rewards
  • Encourage social interactions through multi-player challenges
  • Regularly update your app with fresh content, limited-time and new world experiences.

As far as monetization goes, adventure gaming apps earn through digital merchandise in the form of character skins, gems, weapons and capabilities. Long-term success for this genre lies in keeping loyal gamers coming back for more and cultivating communities within and around the game.

Beyond Leisure

Gamification can go beyond the realm of leisure and entertainment. It is also suitable for e-learning and development, health and wellness, DeFi and virtually anything under the digital sun. 

Among these industries, the ed-tech industry and its target users can greatly benefit from the ever-maturing world of digital games. Educational games are found to have positive impacts on student performance, engagement and learning motivations. Though they are not suitable replacements for instructor-based methods, they are effective supplemental efforts to strengthen competencies through an interactive problem-solving approach. While at the other end of the spectrum, we have DeFi or decentralized finance opening up a whole new economy in the digital space. Gamified DeFi apps are now used to attract blockchain and cryptocurrency investors in a fun and engaging way. 

There are many ways to infuse gamification into mobile apps. And each one provides nothing but great value to both new and existing digital products. So if you’re looking to scale your current mobile application, adding mini-games or reward-based features can give your app that little oomph this year.


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Digital Experience