Three Key Insights for Engaging Mobile Gamers in 2024

By Ashley Chicola / November 3, 2023

Each year, we survey our audience of mobile gamers to learn more about their current app usage, in-app purchase habits, and the channels that motivate them to install new games. This year, we asked a panel of experts to weigh in on the findings, providing an extra layer of actionable insights based on Fluent’s 2023 Mobile Gaming Survey and research from Google and Data.ai.

Unveiling trends in gaming behavior for 2024 and beyond, Peggy Anne Salz of Mobile Groove led an exciting conversation with Carolane Gariepy, Director of Account Management at Fluent, Piyush Mishra, Head of Growth Marketing at Product Madness, and Sola Saulenko, CMO at Pixonic (MY.GAMES). 

Watch the full webinar on-demand here, or check out some key takeaways (along with timestamps to guide you through the discussion):

Genre-bending will become more prevalent as user preferences evolve

The thin line between game types is becoming increasingly blurred. Changes in core game mechanics are causing hypercasual games to behave like narrative games and casual ones to mimic midcore titles. The experts expect that this overlap will only continue to grow as user preferences evolve. In addition, with privacy updates on iOS and Android making targeting more challenging, games that transcend genre may help marketers appeal to a wider audience and get more users in the door.

(tune in at 17:04 for more on app growth by genre)

Gameplay videos have a high potential to boost acquisition efforts

While YouTube did not rank among the top three channels for people to discover new games, the panelists warned marketers not to underestimate the value of gameplay videos in influencing app downloads. According to Sola, ads that illustrate real gameplay are especially effective in the midcore and hardcore categories because they give users an understanding of what to expect. Organic videos from micro- and nano-influencers can also help to generate interest, especially when leveraging a live stream or video format to take audiences along for the ride.

How do mobile gamers discover new games? Graph

(tune in at 37:07 for more on top channels for app discovery)

In-app purchase trends reveal Gen Z’s interest in customized gameplay

With RPG and Strategy games accounting for the first and second highest-grossing revenue in 2022, perhaps it’s no surprise the users are looking to immerse themselves more deeply in games. However, panelists noted that some demographics are more invested than others. For example, Gen Zers are 50% more likely than millennials to spend money on customized avatars, suggesting a strong interest in personalized gameplay – a preference that marketers should keep in mind when trying to reach this audience.

(tune in at 55:53 for more on in-app purchase behavior)

Read Fluent's full Mobile Gaming Report for more insights on how to engage app users

Closing Thoughts

In an industry that is constantly evolving, it’s healthy to challenge assumptions about your target audience and the channels where you can find them. Whether you’re looking to drive new users or engage existing ones, consider experimenting with genre, testing new traffic sources, and implementing monetization strategies that help elevate gameplay.

Ready to put these insights to work? Get in touch here to learn how Fluent can help you level up your mobile user acquisition strategy.