Player spending in mobile Puzzle games in the United States rose 31.4 percent to more than $4.6 billion in the last year, Sensor Tower Store Intelligence estimates show.
Utilizing Sensor Tower’s Game Taxonomy and Game Intelligence products, which segments games into relevant genres and subgenres to support publishers in efficiently identifying key trends, we analyzed the Puzzle genre to see how it has performed over the last year and gain insights into which of its 11 subcategories has proven the most lucrative and installed.
Top Titles by Revenue and Downloads
The top Puzzle game by player spending in the U.S. between March 1, 2020 and February 28, 2021 was Candy Crush Saga from King, part of the Classic Match 3 subgenre, which generated more than $643 million. The No. 2 and No. 3 grossing Puzzle titles were Homescapes and Gardenscapes from Playrix, respectively, both part of the Puzzle & Decorate subgenre.
When it comes to downloads, the Puzzle genre picked up approximately 685 million during the last year, an increase of 11.7 percent Y/Y. The top title for installs was Puzzle & Decorate game Fishdom from Playrix, which accumulated 15.6 million downloads. The No. 2 Puzzle title for U.S. downloads during the last year was Project Makeover from Magic Tavern, while Brain Test from Unico Studio ranked No. 3.
The Puzzle & Decorate subgenre was the No. 1 revenue generator of the 11 Puzzle subcategories during the last year, with player spending increasing by 65.6 percent Y/Y to $1.6 billion, which also made it the fastest-growing subgenre. It should be noted that each subgenre consists of a different number of titles. However, when looking at the average total revenue per title by subgenre, Puzzle & Decorate still comes out on top.
Other Puzzle was the No. 1 subgenre for downloads, accumulating 183.7 million installs and featuring games such as Brain Test and Brain Out from Eyewind. The fastest-growing subcategory for downloads, meanwhile, was Other Match 3, which includes titles such as Match 3D from Loop Games and Tile Master from Higgs Technology, with installs rising by 174 percent Y/Y to 29.6 million.
Analyzing revenue per install, Classic Match 3 was the leader, generating approximately $34 in spending per download over the last year. Tile Blast ranked No. 2, while Puzzle & Decorate ranked No. 3. It should be noted, of course, that this metric does not take into consideration lifetime RPD, and so historical downloads are not used.
The Puzzle category has seen explosive growth over the past year. While the surge in player spending and downloads can be attributed to the global COVID-19 pandemic and consumers seeking new titles to entertain them during lockdowns, innovations in the space and the blending of new themes and mechanics have propelled the market to even loftier heights. Whether that’s the rise of the Merge subgenre as a popular mechanic, the continued and increasing popularity of Puzzle & Decorate titles, or the perfect match with themes such as Fashion, there’s still substantial room for the Puzzle market to grow.
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