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Mobile gaming continues to exist as one of the biggest sectors consumers spend on, according to a new report from Data.ai (formerly App Annie). The report, which covers Q1 2022, reveals that gamers spent 65 of every $1 in app stores, meaning that over half of all mobile spending went to games.

Specifically, games accounted for 73% of consumer spend on Google Play and 60% on iOS. Games accounted for 44% of all app downloads on Google Play and 28% on iOS. Data.ai predicts that the total number of downloads for Q1 2022 will be roughly 14 billion.

Lexi Sydow, head of insights at Data.ai, said in a statement, “Although pandemic regulations are winding down in most markets, we are continuing to see an increase in game downloads. We’ve also seen growth of consumer spend increase alongside downloads — this quarter marks the biggest Q1 total spend ever, and total spend on gaming is set to nearly double in two years. This points to the ongoing high demand from consumers, the consistent release of new games, and the dynamic nature of the gaming space.”

Which games flourished

The most popular (or most downloaded) game of the quarter was Free Fire, the mobile battle royale title. It was also the most downloaded mobile game of 2021. The other games on the list are probably the games you’d expect — Roblox, Candy Crush Saga, etc.

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The game on which consumers spent the most was Genshin Impact. It narrowly beat out Roblox, but that game had it beat in Monthly Active Users. Candy Crush and Free Fire both made the top then in those lists as well.

Wrong Wordle

One notable phenomenon, according to Sydow, is the rise of Wordle. This game, which is not available as an app, inadvertently raised the fortunes of another app of the same name.

Sydow says: “The phenomenon that was Wordle shows us that consumers are making automatic assumptions that mobile companion apps are expected alongside other releases. For example, users looking for Browser-based Wordle turned to the app-store and unknowingly downloaded “Wordle!”, a different game, skyrocketing the app all the way to second place in the MAU breakout chart for Q1. This speaks to how consumers, in general, have arrived at a level where they are searching for — even expecting — games to be on mobile by default.”

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