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Very impressive article Jake! You are very talented.
DataMagic has shared a nice analysis of the way different genres of mobile games perform. It is actually not a kind of thing we publish regularly, but it’s nice for those trying to make some money from mobile apps. Let’s check it out!
Whatever the game it is you’re developing, you’re probably asking yourself on the regular (and rightly so!): does the backlog contain all the right features? Aren’t we missing anything out? What else can we do to drive our product’s success further? How about additional mechanics, personalized balances and payment offers, alternative traffic growth tools, etc.?…
Genres evolve and undergo mutations all the time; new projects bring in curious new approaches and set new standards, too. It is a crime against your own product to ignore these changes. Yet it is plain impossible to figure every single thing out by oneself, and this is why we turn to competitor analysis. And here the question is, how do we find all the interesting and study-worthy apps within a genre? It’s quite a hassle to track all the decent new titles manually; in fact, it is genuinely not a hassle but a pain in one’s behind sometimes—say, in the case of Asian apps.
Market Macro Analysis: What Genres Perform Best In Different Regions
- Deciding what new game to develop;
- Selecting country or area for the soft launch;
- Determining what languages to localize the game in;
- Searching for fast-growing titles with great potential (something that investors and advertising agency totally love to do!);
- Developing a thorough understanding of the market.
We then tried to put together the information from all these 12 graphs into one that would look comprehensible and informative. We believe we have found a metric that goes well with the concept of high or low business potential introduced earlier in the text. In the graph below, the size of each point is defined as the root sum of Revenues of all games of the corresponding genre in the corresponding country. The highest business potential is represented by the value of 1, while the lowest is 0. Take this into account, however: if the rating of a specific genre in a given country is below 1, this doesn’t mean that games of this genre aren’t doing swell in this particular country, but rather that there are certainly genres that perform better there.
Favorite genres can be spotted right away: the ultimate all-rounder leader (by geography) is the Party Battler. Titles from this genre generate outstanding income and are present by handfuls in all countries’ top charts. In the Western and the Asian regions this genre’s success is defined by different titles: just as it’s always been, Asian battlers are not too popular in the West, and vice versa. However, the fun and picturesque gameplay with multi-character battles that doesn’t require a lot of skill and meanwhile has wide opportunities for monetizing the meta game is performing stellar all around the world. There are very many high-earners in this genre. And this inevitably leads to many large companies launching top-quality games of this genre regularly (that is, tons of features, superb art and strong marketing). This is indeed a genre with high business potential, but you need to have at least $10M to spare on development and launch.
The MMO Strategy has fallen behind just a tiny little bit: it performs excellent everywhere but in Japan. It is evident that for Russia, for example, the MMO Strategy point is much larger than the points reflecting any other genre. This means that in Russia users play these strategy titles a lot and pay appropriately: way more than in other countries (again, that is in comparison to other genres). This also means that a Russian soft launch for MMO Strategy games is a good idea: you’ll find active and paying users to test and tune your product rather easily. This genre also does well in Germany. It is appropriate to project that Russia and Germany are good testing grounds for user acquisition benchmarks, such as testing different user acquisition channels and measuring the predicted ROMI: if you cannot achieve a positive ROMI with your MMO Strategy in these countries, chances are, it’s a bit early for you to venture into the largest Western markets. Keep improving the game and optimizing your acquisition processes.
Shooters stand out nicely, too. The past 6 months have seen an incredible rise in this genre, but there’s really no point in any additional comments here: enough’s been said of the Battle Royale and classic shooters lately.
Speaking of genres that seem to have no super strong titles up their sleeve: these may be attractive to smaller developers, as it is possible to secure an audience here without having to spend millions on production. I’d like to point out that even the most modest of the games picked for analysis in this article make around $500K a month, and plenty of developers wouldn’t mind at all to be making this money themselves.