74% of mid-core mobile game installs come from ads in casual games

The report sheds light on the influence of ads in casual games on mid-core mobile game installs.

Liftoff, a prominent mobile growth acceleration platform, has released its 2024 Casual Gaming Apps Report, revealing insights into the mobile game industry’s landscape. Based on extensive data from 355 billion ad impressions, 36 billion clicks, and 90 million installs spanning from January 1st, 2023, to January 1st, 2024, the report sheds light on the influence of ads in casual games on mid-core mobile game installs.

Key findings from the report indicate that ads in casual games drive 74% of mid-core mobile game installs. Additionally, puzzle games emerge as significant drivers of casual game installs, contributing 37% of total installs. Simulation and lifestyle games also play a notable role, each accounting for approximately 8% of total installs.

The Casual Gaming Apps Report covers three main sections: benchmarks for advertising costs and revenue, the mobile game genres driving the most installs, and emerging trends in the casual gaming market. Notable insights include:

Progressive offers gain traction: Around 70% of the top 25 casual games in the US now utilize progressive offer features, providing players with a sequence of free and paid rewards. Half of these games have introduced this feature within the past year.

Rising user acquisition costs: The report highlights an increase in user acquisition costs on iOS, reaching $4.83 between March 2023 and March 2024. Regional cost differences may impact results, with regions like North America exhibiting the highest Day 7 return on ad spend.

Surge in 3D match games: Titles like Triple Match 3D and Tile Match 3D have experienced significant growth, with a 411% surge in market share within the top 500 grossing iOS titles from Q4 2022 to Q4 2023.

Embrace of external web stores: Casual games increasingly leverage external web stores to enhance player engagement and offer value. This approach, previously common among mid-core titles, allows developers to offer exclusive rewards, value bundles, and dedicated loyalty programs directly to players.

Joey Fulcher, Global VP Accelerate at Liftoff, emphasized the resilience of the mobile game industry, particularly for casual games, amid post-pandemic adjustments. He highlighted the significance of understanding target audiences for successful app development, emphasizing the interdependence of casual games in attracting users to mid-core titles.

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