How Did Covid-19 Affect Mobile Game Market Share & Revenues in the US?

With the expansion of GameRefinery’s popular Market Share tool to cover more data points and geographical markets such as China and Japan, conducting category research across markets is easier than ever. This blog post will use the tool to conduct a YoY 2019 & 2020 Q2 mobile game market & revenue share comparison in US.

Check out our post on the Japanese market here.

What makes this timeframe interesting, obviously, is the COVID VS non-COVID aspect of the comparison.

So what were the most significant market shifts? Which game categories, genres, or publishers were able to leverage the market opportunity? And what is the subgenre that seems to have lost its IAP revenue momentum?

a) All data in this post is based on IAP revenues from iOS US top 500 games, “Rev” indicating revenue in Q2 2020, “MS” indicating Revenue Market Share in Q2 2020, “change” indicating the YoY difference between Q2 2020 and Q2 2019. 

b) Market Share percentages reflect the category/genre/subgenre/publisher’s position in relation to other categories/genres/subgenres/publishers.

c) More information about our genre taxonomy can be found here.

Category, Genre & Subgenre Comparison in the US Mobile Game Market

Top Mobile Game Categories in the US Market 2020 Q2
Top Mobile Game Genres in the US Market 2020 Q2
Top Mobile Game Subgenres with the biggest Revenue Market Share in the US Market 2020 Q2

Key Takeaways:


  • Casual and Casino’s MS grew with the expense of Mid-core and Sports, revenues were up in all categories, though.


  • Mid-Core’s loss in MS can be traced down to Strategy’s relatively modest performance.
  • Simulation had a terrific quarter, gaining 3,75% MS and almost 80m in earnings.
  • The only genres failing to increase in revenues were AR and Sports.


  • Match3 remains the biggest subgenre even after suffering a slight market share dent. Slots are closing in, though.
  • Build & Battle was the only top 10 MS subgenre that witnessed declining revenues.
  • Biggest ascends happened for Sandbox and Classic FPS; Roblox and Call of Duty mostly fueled these moves.


Top Mobile Game Publishers with the Biggest Revenue Market Share in the US Market 2020 Q2

Key Takeaways:

  • Roblox Corporation had the biggest upside both in terms of Market Share growth and increase in returns.
  • Other hot publishers were Activision and Moon Active, fueled by CoD: Mobile and Coin Master.
  • Supercell witnessed a drop both in terms of market share and earnings. The Finnish developer was also the only top 10 MS publisher that wasn’t able to grow in revenue

Roblox game snapshot

Roblox had an amazing Q2 2020.

Subgenres that took a hit in the US mobile game market

Top subgenres that decreased in revenues in the US 2020 Q2

While the COVID period has arguably given a short-term uplift for many developers, not every company’s dashboards are flashing in green. Here is a list of subgenres that seem to have missed out on the Corona-party.

Key Takeaways:

  • In the US, Build & Battle’s position was weakened, especially by Clash of Clans’ more modest YoY performance.
  • Coloring Games IAP revenues plummeted 80%. End of an era?

Happy Color mobile game snapshot

Coloring Games such as Happy Color might need to revamp their approach to player monetization with IAPs.

In Conclusion

This post explored how mobile game market share has shifted in the US using GameRefinery’s Market Share tool. TLDR, some of the highlights include:

  • Almost all genres were able to grow in revenue.
  • Sandbox and Classic FPS gained MS, Strategy subgenres such as Build & Battle and Tactical Battler lost MS.
  • Roblox corp., Activision and Moon Active were the top-3 publishers to increase their MS.
  • Coloring Games seem to be struggling with monetization.

Want to see Market Share live in action? Get in touch with us here.

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