Smaller Gaming Apps Are Eating Market Leaders' Lunch

Among other trends to watch, smaller mobile developers continue to steal market share from the bigger players. Last year, in fact, the top five grossing mobile games generated 28% of total market revenue, which was down significantly from 40% in 2015.

Among mobile gamers, the most popular categories remain “strategy,” “casino,” and “puzzle.” Together this holy trinity accounted for more than 70% of the overall market -- or about $4.3 billion -- in 2016.

Also of note, seven of the top 10 games released last year were licensed brand or expansion game IPs. Together, these categories accounted for 93% of market revenue (or about $614 million), and 68% of all downloads (or about 40 million) last year.

Branded IP games should surpass original IP-based games in revenue by 2018, the research partners predict.

This trend indicates rising interest for known licensed and branded IP among the consumer market.

For the report, all revenue and download data was sourced using Sensor Tower’s Store Intelligence platform, which aggregates data points from the Apple App Store and Google Play.

Altogether, SEGA and Sensor Tower said they matched and analyzed 362 gaming titles.

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