Tapjoy Research: What Mobile Games Do People Play Most?

Posted by
26th January 2017

Last week, Tapjoy published a research report titled “The Changing Face of Mobile Gamers,” in which we examined the mindset, motivations, behaviors and demographics of those consumers playing mobile games today. Our goal was to help brand advertisers understand how to connect with this highly desirable audience, and in the first installment of our blog series based on the report, we explored the question of “Who is playing mobile games?”

In this post, the second in our series, we’ll take a closer look at the types of games consumers are playing most, and who is playing what.

Most-Liked Categories of Games: Puzzle, Strategy, Trivia

As we learned, mobile gamers do not fit the mold of traditional video gamers. Rather than hardcore role-playing games and first-person shooters, like what are typically found among the most popular games for consoles or PC platforms, the most popular games on mobile are much more casual.

Puzzle games are by far the most popular category, played by 59% of respondents. Strategy (38%), Trivia (33%) and Casino/Card (27%) games were next on the list, respectively. Among the least popular games are Player-vs-Player (15%), Sports (11%) and Shooting (8%) games. It is worth pointing out that the types of games that are commonly associated with the stereotypical image of a gamer — a teenage boy — are the least popular categories for mobile games. The most popular categories for mobile games are actually closer in style to board games than they are to traditional video games.  

Gender Breakdown

While Puzzle games are the most popular category for both men and women, they are significantly more popular among women (63% of whom say that Puzzle games are among their favorite types of games) than among men (only 35% of whom name Puzzle games among their favorites). Women are also more likely to include Trivia games (named by 35% of women, compared to just 21% of men), Simulation (23% of women; 12% of men) and, to a lesser extent, Strategy games (38% of women; 33% of men) as among their favorites.

On the other hand, men are significantly more likely to include Sports games among their favorites (26% of men, compared to just 6% of women), as well as Shooting games (17% of men; 6% of women) and Action games (26% of men; 14% of women). Casino/Cards, Player vs. Player and Adventure games were all listed with approximate similarity between the two genders.

Age Breakdown

Millennials (those ages 18 – 34) are about twice as likely as older gamers to play Adventure (26% of Millennials, compared to 11% of gamers 35 and older) and Simulation games (26% to 13%), while older gamers are nearly twice as likely as Millennials to play Casino/Card games (32% of those 35 and older, compared to 19% of Millennials).

Trivia games are the only category played with about equal frequency by consumers from all age groups. Meanwhile, categories such as Puzzle games and Casino/Cards games become more popular with each consecutively older age range, while categories such as Action, Sports, Shooting, Player-versus-Player and Simulation games all become more popular as you look at younger age ranges.

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