Gaming App Industry Roundup 2022: See What’s New and In-Play
The gaming app industry is the most competitive, hands down. You could say it’s for real players—meaning you have to be strategic with every UA (user acquisition) campaign. Delivering new users and revenue for your gaming app is dependent on many factors. This means there are many ways to leverage trends to play to win!
Let’s review some of the most relevant trends and what it means for the industry.
Mobile Gamers Saw Revenue Declines in Q1 2022
In the first quarter of 2022, there was a year-over-year (YoY) decline of 7.1% in mobile game spending. This drop caused overall mobile app spending to see only a tiny increase in the period. After all, gaming apps routinely generate revenue through in-app purchases (IAPs), subscriptions, and monetization efforts.
Is this a time to panic? Not necessarily. Rather, gaming app revenue spiked significantly during 2020 and 2021. Most attribute that to people having more free time at home due to the pandemic. However, those increases weren’t sustainable long-term, so the market is kind of correcting itself.
If you’re experiencing a dip in revenue, here are some suggestions:
- Consider CPI/CPE (cost per install/cost per engagement) hybrid campaigns that can help you convert casual players to subscribers.
- Boost app store visibility with burst keyword campaigns, even in highly competitive areas like casino games. With the proper structure and ad network, you could see lots of new users and experience organic lift from higher rankings.
- Use custom profile pages (CPPs) on the App Store to align with ads, focusing on specific audience segments or unique features.
Social Game Features Are Winners and Revenue Generators
Social gaming is now a cultural phenomenon. PC and console games mastered this long ago, while mobile app games lagged. They’ve caught up, driven by the expectations of players longing for social connection virtually.
Most of the top mobile games have at least one social feature, such as:
- In-game chat
- Hangout rooms
- Social media connections
- Co-op models
- PvP (player vs. player) modes
If your app has these features, highlight that in ads, profile pages, introductions, push notifications, and any other medium that will drive engagement.
They can also be a revenue opportunity. These features could be for subscription-only players. Hangout rooms are another space ripe for monetization. Players will want to show off their avatars and may wish to make IAPs to boost their gear and skins.
Privacy Changes Shake Up UA, Strategy Shifts Are Critical
The new privacy era left many in the gaming industry realizing how complicated UA is now. As we all navigate this new reality, one thing is clear—shifting your strategy to brand, and community building is a smart move.
So, how do you do this? Building your brand means increasing visibility in every channel. That requires brand marketing campaigns, which are different from typical UA ones. Instead, you’re introducing the brand and trying to raise awareness versus a specific offer to install. Placing these in lots of different media types can be worthwhile. And it will help you with cultivating a community.
If you can foster and grow a loyal community of gamers, you have a much better chance to keep them long-term and derive more revenue from them. The secret? You can earn high engagement by playing on gamers’ desires, which is to show off their skills and keep pushing games to the next horizon. If you deploy this strategy correctly, you’ll see the value in greater time spent in the app and more purchases.
The Metaverse Impact
Experts call the metaverse a “3D model of the internet.” It’s where you live out your digital life. Sounds a lot like RPGs, right? Except the metaverse extends beyond gaming yet has a massive impact on the industry.
Gaming apps are beginning to intertwine with the metaverse to deliver unique in-game experiences (e.g., Fortnite concerts, Nikeland in Roblox). The metaverse environment also includes crypto and NFTs. So, should you be working toward metaverse integration?
It depends on your audience and type of game. It will apply primarily to RPGs. To know if a “metaverse experience” would help you acquire new users, pay attention to those already implementing it and how it impacted UA.
If it seems like a good fit for your gaming app, you’ll want a full-scale relaunch campaign to create buzz and excitement. You can do this with branded campaigns and more specific CPI initiatives.
For existing users, you have the chance to upsell these improvements, making them available for subscribers or via IAPs. Get your players hyped for this through CPEs, where you can offer a discount if they register.