What’s winning in mobile games in 2024?

By John Koetsier June 28, 2024

What’s winning in mobile games in 2024? 

According to Adjoe’s recent mobile games report, the market as a whole is growing, casual gaming is growing in all demographics, and daily engagement is back up after a decline last year: 22% up according to Adjoe’s report. Also, older people play more mobile games than younger people, and women are showing even more engagement.

I had a chance to chat with Adjoe’s director of growth, Carly Ostasiewski. 

Hit play and keep scrolling for the highlights:

Old people game (and they have money)

People aged 40-50 are massively engaged in mobile gaming: more so than kids. And they have money, which is interesting when you consider user acquisition priorities.

“When you think about a mobile gamer, you think it’s probably a kid or maybe it’s a college student between classes,but really there’s engagement across the board in every kind of demographic, whether you’re under 20, 30 years old or 40 and above,” says Ostasiewski. “And the surprising thing for me is always that people between 40 and 50 are massively into mobile gaming.”

(Hi mom!)

Kids are more into adventure games and building games like Roblox, but older adults love casual games and casino games (especially women). And kids have school, sports, and social activities, limiting time for mobile games.

Men are from Mobile Legends, women from Wild Casino

No shocker: in general, men and women differ a little in the types of games they play. 

Women tend to pick games they can just pick up and hit for a few minutes, while men tend to pick games that take a longer span of time. (Of course, these are just averages, and as such they don’t say anything about any specific individual … by this measure I’d be a woman.)

One specific genre women are more into: casino games.

“Women are playing more of these casual and casino apps that you can just kind of pick up and play, whereas male users will probably pick more of a strategy game,” says Ostasiewski. “And when they sit down, it’s going to be a different experience.”

I rarely have the time or patience for big strategy games, but clearly I’m in the minority here as a man.

Mixed monetization models everywhere

Mixed monetization between in-app purchases and rewarded ads is common in mobile games, but not in all genres. Now we’re increasingly seeing it in Casino games so publishers can monetize all players and not just payers.

“I’m seeing more and more casino games incorporating rewarded videos,” Ostasiewski says. “Huuuge Games or Sciplay or all these different big casino companies, Playtika … they never really had rewarded videos.”

Mixed monetization adds complexity, but the rewards are clearly worth it.

Add it all up, and according to Adjoe’s report, mobile gaming revenue is up 7% across the board, which tracks with what Singular is seeing

Europeans game more than Americans

Perhaps this is not a shock because they get the most vacation time, but Europeans tend to game more than anyone else in the world.

“One of the most interesting trends we’re seeing is that European players are actually the most engaged players,” Ostasiewski says. “So they’re leading the way with the average daily app usage time.”

Here are the averages:

  • Europe: 23.2 minutes
  • Oceania: 22.6 minutes
  • Asia: 21.7 minutes
  • Africa: 21.5 minutes
  • North America: 21.2 minutes
  • LATAM: 18.6 minutes

That’s impressive: even ahead of Asia. Of course, the difference between North America and Europe is only a couple minutes or just over 9% more, but still …

Mobile games everywhere

Perhaps the most interesting trend? 

Mobile games are showing up everywhere (I even found them in LinkedIn recently).

“I think the biggest opportunity is how gaming is really going to blend together with everyday app usage,” Ostasiewski says. “So we see that 60% of overall app store revenue is coming from gaming, and how other kinds of brands and apps are going to align more with games to really harness this growing consumer interest.”

That could be in Roblox, with IKEA, or Candy Crush and Prada, or Uber Arcade, or Netflix adding games to its movies and TV shows.

In fact, that might be the back door through which we get super apps in the west, with multiple functionalities for multiple things.

Much more in the full Growth Masterminds

The full podcast has much more, of course. Check it out, along with all our Growth Masterminds episodes, either in audio or video.

And maybe if you’ve got some unique insights from your corner of the world, ping us about becoming a Growth Masterminds guest!

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