Mobile game app installs jumped 45% in 2020 because of COVID-19

Anne Freer | December 4, 2020

App Marketing

Mobile gaming surged in 2020 due to a greater number of customers downloading apps during the pandemic.

New data from app marketing experts AppsFlyer reveals that app installs for mobile games rose 45% this year, compared to 32% the year before.

Installs from ads grew 69% during the same period which is in line with 2019 figures. However, organic installs rose 33% – that’s 57% more than in 2019.

The latest report also found that in-app purchase revenues rose 25% during lockdowns which was due to greater demand for casual games (up 55%).

The number of non-organic installs for hyper casual games rose 250% and 90% in totals for the genre.

“The pandemic has led scores of new players to try mobile gaming for the first time as they were looking for entertainment and distraction while at home,” the company noted in its report.

“Clearly, beginner players start with the easiest games (Hyper Casual) and only a small percentage of them become hardcore gamers. Gaming apps, especially Hyper Casual, realized the opportunity and greatly accelerated their user acquisition (UA) efforts to meet the heightened demand.”

In-app revenues in hybrid games was up 67% between February and August, despite ad revenues declining 16% during this period.

Remarketing efforts also bore fruits with a 95% lift in average revenues from paying users from remarketing campaigns.

Hardcore games were at the forefront of this trend with a 160% uplift, followed by social casino (130%), midcore (60%) and casual (30%).

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