Casual games – What can we learn from these predictions?

Deconstructor of Fun is back with their annual mobile gaming predictions – and we’re all ears. In their blog post, they break down how the market affected each game genre and where it’s going. But while it was the biggest year in mobile gaming, there were a few more surprises on the way including more privacy changes, more mobile gamers, and more revenue growth.


The surprises


  • Deconstructor of Fun notes that the number of games that entered the market in 2021 was the lowest in 10 years. Remote working plays a part in the slow-down, as well as the new limitations slowing down campaign iterations.


  • 65% of all IAP revenue is going to the games in the top 100. 


  • Last year’s games that crossed $10M in net revenue continued to grow.


A bit about Casual Games


Casual games are a mobile game genre designed with simple rules, shorter sessions, and have a low barrier to entry. Their monetization strategies are typically free-to-play, while monetizing through IAPs and IAA.


The casual game’s genre is divided into seven sub-categories: Puzzle, hypercasual, Arcade, Tabletop, Simulation, Lifestyle, and Geolocation; and these genres are then further divided into sub-genres. 


In 2021, casual games were downloaded 33 billion times. Although this number sounds impressive, downloads across the mobile market actually declined by 5%. The hypercasual genre was the only resilient one that continued to grow in terms of downloads last year and is estimated to generate $3.4B in ad-monetization revenue.  

Tabletop Games – the nostalgic board games we grew up on boasts the fastest IAP revenue growth (+42%), while hypercasual games increase IAP revenue by 26%. In a time of social distancing, users more likely turned to their devices to connect, compete and enjoy this genre – which encouraged the growth upticks in this genre. 


What’s to come in 2022:


Merge games are making their mark in the ecosystem with a 19% YoY growth in 2021. With a ‘scale or die’ outlook on the genre, Deconstructor of Fun predicts a “Ragnarok of Merge games”. However, those who failed to scale up before the IDFA deprecation, will either stay small, get acquired, or perish due to Merge Mansion driving up CPIs. 


The battle of payment methods and the rise in popularity of cryptocurrency will introduce new ways to pay for IAPs. While this revolution is still in its early stages, Google and Apple still have a grip on the pace of adoption by developers. 


Hypercasual games with an already formed user base will continue rescaling and grabbing most of the downloads in 2022. Many of the new titles in this genre will lean on pop culture trends that reenact social media and TV shows more than their roots in gameplay mechanics. 

We only covered a snippet of Deconstructor of Fun’s predictions – make sure to follow this link for more!


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