Most mobile game genres in the United States saw player spending and downloads decline during the first half of 2022 as the market fell by 9.6% year-over-year to US$11.4 billion, Sensor Tower Game Intelligence data reveals.
The research group says Arcade was the fastest rising genre, with player spending up 14.8% year-over-year to approximately $176 million. The largest Arcade subgenre for player spending was Idler, which generated close to $88 million, up 35.3% year-over-year.
The second fastest-growing genre by revenue in the first half of 2022 was Tabletop, which increased by approximately 1% year-over-year to close to $388.8 million. All other mobile game genres saw a decline in overall player spending during the first half of the year, with Racing seeing the steepest decrease at 28.8%.
Puzzle was the largest category by spending in the first half of 2022, picking up $2.3 billion billion, a fall of 8.8% year-over-year. It was followed by Casino at No. 2, which generated $2.2 billion, and Strategy, which accumulated $2 billion.
The Action genre saw the fastest growth in downloads during the first half of the year compared to the same period in 2021, rising by 5.4 % year-over-year to 54.7 million. The top Action subgenre for downloads was Action Sandbox, which saw downloads climb by 2.3% year-over-year to15.7 million installs.
The Sports genre was the only other category not to see a decline in downloads year-over-year, remaining flat at approximately 66 million installs. Simulation saw the slowest decline out of the genres that saw a fall in revenue, with a decrease of 1.8% to about 168 million year-over-year.
Hypercasual ranked No. 1 with the most downloads during the first half of 2022, generating 718.2 million installs, a decline of 13.7 % year-over-year. Puzzle, meanwhile, ranked No. 2 for downloads, and Arcade ranked No. 3.
Why the decline in mobile game downloads and player spending? Sensor Tower says factors such as a rise in the cost of living, inflation, and privacy changes like IDFA deprecation have combined for a negative impact on the industry. The ending of many social distancing restrictions from the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic has also seen consumers engage with other activities outside of gaming.