Out now! 2023 Casual Gaming Apps Report

By Ruoji Tang | April 18, 2023

2023 is a pivotal year for the mobile gaming industry. Spending on mobile games skyrocketed during the pandemic, but as inflation rose in 2022, consumer spending in many sectors—gaming included—began to taper. To adapt in a volatile economic environment, game developers are pivoting their business strategies. Instead of scaling quickly, developers are prioritizing incremental revenue growth and long-term profits.

For gaming advertisers looking to drive revenue in a volatile market, the key will still be finding new audiences and capturing the attention of higher-value players. This may be why despite fluctuations in consumer spending, the mobile ad revenue is still growing. According to Emarketer, US mobile gaming ad spend is forecasted to grow 10%, reaching $6.28 billion in 2023. Growth is predicted to continue at between 8% to 10% in the coming years.

Casual mobile games, in particular, attract a broad following of players from different demographics and different motivations. To get the best value from ad spend, gaming marketers need to meet their audience where they are. To help, in addition to our annual breakdown of benchmarks for advertising cost and revenue, Liftoff’s 2023 Casual Gaming Report takes an inside look at which mobile gaming genres and subgenres are driving installs for casual, casino, mid-core, and sports & driving games.

Finally, 2023 is primed to be a year of breathtaking innovations in game design. In part three of our report, GameRefinery analysts closely examine the casual gaming trends that are making a splash, including: new trends in core gameplay and meta layers, the increased popularity of competitive events, and why minigames reign supreme.

Report highlights include:

  • Cost per install (CPI) breakdowns by platform, month, and region
  • Return on ad spend (ROAS) breakdowns by platform, month, and region
  • In-depth analyses of where apps gaming installs come from by category and subgenre
  • 3 must-know casual gaming trends identified by GameRefinery’s industry-leading analysts

Read the report in English or Chinese.