App analytics platform Sensor Tower released The State of Mobile Gaming 2023 report. The 68 page report includes deep analysis top performing genres, titles, monetization trends and market review.
Related: Voodoo vs. Kwalee on hyper-casual
The top five genres by downloads in 2022 were the same as in 2021. Hyper-casual remained on top despite a decrease of 10% in 2022 overall, a drop of 24% in Q4 2022, and a continued trend downwards in 2023.
The report shows that hyper-casual genre is indeed on its last breath. It states that the decline of hyper-casual has been caused by post-covid player behavior mostly.
In 2022, the hyper-casual product model was most affected, decreasing by 1 billion yearly downloads, whereas hybrid-casual saw a 13% increase in downloads. At the same time, Exclusive Access (meaning games only available through external subscriptions, like Netflix and Apple Arcade libraries) saw a 54% increase in downloads year-over-year.
Hybrid-casual is on the rise and seems to be going stronger than ever. The report says hyper-casual growth reached an inflection point in Q4 2022. Hybrid-casual initiated its second wave of downloads, with games such as Survivor!.io amassing more than 21 million downloads worldwide this quarter. Survivor!.io is a mobile game published by Habby that utilizes game patterns from the successful pixel-graphic and PC game Vampire Survivors.
Related: What is hybrid-casual genre?
While the worldwide number of downloads of mobile games did not change in 2022 compared to 2021, hybrid-casual games saw positive growth in downloads across the globe except in the Middle East.
Asia saw the most significant download growth in 2022, with installs increasing by 94 million, up 4% year-over-year. North America also experienced high download growth in 2022, as installs rose by nearly 63 million, up 17% year-over-year.