Gamelight Mobile Gaming Index: Exclusive Playtime Insights From 2023 

Leading user acquisition platform, Gamelight has released the first edition of its Mobile Gaming Index. The Index contains exclusive insights into the dynamic landscape of mobile gaming from 2023. 
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The comprehensive analysis showcases playtime patterns, measured in minutes, of engaged users across various gaming verticals. It also offers a look into the top 10 mobile games with the highest playtime across Google Play and the App Store. The data is gathered from users across the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Japan, and South Korea. Moreover, the study sheds light on the average playtime across four gaming categories—Casual, Mid-Core, Social Casino, and Action games—providing a broad perspective showing which specific titles, genres, and platforms are the most popular in different regions.

Most played Mobile Games in 2023

Candy Crush Saga is the only title that shows up in the top 10 mobile game ranking of the highest playtime for every country included in the analysis. Making it clear that it has managed to maintain a strong position ever since its release in 2012.

The game that is the most played in the United States and Europe, MONOPOLY GO! launched in April 2023, making it a strong newcomer. Ranking as number one both in the United States and the United Kingdom as the game with the highest playtime per active user. The game, however, sees less popularity in Japan and South Korea, where it does not make either of their top 10 lists.

Other notable titles include Royal Match, which appears high in all the country rankings except for France. Dice Dreams™ is favored both by iOS and Android users across the globe. The title also makes it into all countries’ rankings except for South Korea. Both Supercell titles, Clash Royale and Clash of Clans, as well as miHoYo’s Genshin Impact, appear on multiple rankings. Gardenscapes has a strong presence in the US, UK, and South Korea. Meanwhile, Coin Master is favored by users located in Europe and the US.

Most Prominent Genres

The most popular genre across the board is Casual. It has the highest playtime in all of the presented countries across both Android and iOS, with one exception from iOS users in the UK. Prominent titles for this genre are Candy Crush Saga, Royal Match, and Coin Master. The countries’ users who had the highest average playtime in the Casual genre are located in Japan and have an average of 47 minutes. This is unsurprising as Japan is the country with the highest playtime overall, with an average of 45 minutes. On the other side, among the presented countries, France registers the lowest average playtime, settling at an approximate average of 32 minutes. When considering global trends, it’s noteworthy that iOS users, on the whole, exhibit a higher average playtime compared to Android.

Multiple Mid-core titles appear frequently across the rankings, like Dice Dreams™, Clash Of Clans, and Genshin Impact. iOS users prefer the genre, and its popularity is the strongest in France and The United States. The action genre is the least popular genre, preferred by Android users and having a slightly stronger presence in the UK and the US. 

Social Casino has similar activity between iOS and Android. And ranks as the genre with the second-highest playtime across multiple countries. Managing to maintain a steady presence with a consistent player base. Zynga Poker, Huuuge Casino Slots Vegas 777, and Slotomania™ are titles that appear multiple times on the top 10 rankings.

Insights by Country

The Index shows that there are multiple global trends within the mobile game community. On the other hand, some insights are more strongly tied to its country. The Index helps to identify a few of these area-tied trends. 

The country that mirrors the global trends on a larger scale is The United States. Evidence that supports this is that they have casual games as their most played genre, while iOS has the highest playtime overall. The game that is dominating the charts in the US is MONOPOLY GO! – ranking number one on Androids and number two on iOS.

Japan’s top 10 most played ranking showed a unique trend that no other country displayed. Both Android and iOS had the same four titles at the top. Two of these titles were Royal Match and Genshin Impact, which show up in multiple countries’ rankings and have a strong global presence. However, the two other titles, Monster Hunter Now and Monster Strike, are exclusive to Japan’s rankings. Having these four titles ranking as the top four across platforms indicates their strong position in the country’s mobile community. 

iOS users in the United Kingdom demonstrate a keen interest in anime-styled RPG games, as reflected by the presence of both Genshin Impact and Dragon Ball Legends on their leaderboards. This trend hints at a distinct preference for narrative-rich mobile gaming experiences. The UK also sports a large gap between the two platforms’ Social Casino playtime. iOS users favor the genre, having it as their most played, landing at 43 minutes. While Android users have a lesser interest in the genre, having it rank second to last at 32 minutes. 

South Korea shows a balance between global and local titles in their top rankings. Global titles such as Royal Match, Candy Crush Saga, and Gardenscapes are present on the list. But so are locally adapted or titles originating from South Korea, with noteworthy titles being MapleStory M, Lineage M, and Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel.

The most diverse blend of genres goes to France. Their top 10 list contains a wide supply of mobile games, with everything from strategic challenges in War Robots to Farming experiences in Family Island™, Social Casino titles like Huuuge Casino Slots Vegas 777, and puzzle titles like Wordscapes. Even though Casual games accumulate the highest playtime overall, this diversity shows that larger overarching trends aren’t as prominent in France and that different types of games have a chance of making it big on their market. 

The country with the largest gap in playtime between the two platforms, iOS and Android, is Germany. The iOS playtime average is 40 minutes, and Android’s is 30 minutes. This supports the global trend of iOS users accumulating a higher overall playtime than Android users. 

Key takeaways

  • Candy Crush Saga, MONOPOLY GO!, Dice Dreams™, Royal Match, and Coin Master are the titles with the highest playtime globally.
  • The mobile game genre that users across the world invest the most time in is casual games.
  • iOS users have a higher average playtime than Android users across the genres.
  • Japan secures the overall highest playtime among the countries presented in the Index. At the same time, France registers the lowest average. 

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