Entering Q2 2023, the demand for advertising of mobile games is increasing. According to AppGrowing, the app volume of global advertised mobile games increased minimally in April, but the ad volume increased by 28.2% compared with March, which indicates that game advertisers are further expanding their advertising campaigns and the "battle to acquire users" is becoming fiercer.
Meanwhile, April was also a month of intense competition for Chinese games. miHoYo Honkai: Star Rail, Lilith Games Call of Dragons, Eskyfun 魔鏡物語 and other new games were released one after another, becoming new competitors in the market; while "old" games such as Glaciers Game 超能世界 have also boosted their advertising.
What about the macro advertising statistics in April? Are there any new trends? Here is AppGrowing's analysis of the global mobile game advertising markets in April 2023, based on advertising data from 24 global media platforms in 50 countries/regions.
On the whole, the number of mobile games advertised in April 2023 was 23,091. The ad volume was 3.05M+, up 28.2% YoY. The ad creative volume was 800K+, up 2.2% YoY. Basing on the above data, it is easy to see that game developers further increased their advertising expend in April, and the market competition is fierce. The peak of advertising was concentrated in the last 10 days of the month, among which the highest daily ad volume was over 750K on April 25, while the app volume peak was on April 23, with the number reaching 13,415.
The app volume remained flat throughout the month, while ad volume remained high above 500,000 for the first and last 10 days. 78.81% mobile games advertised less than 99 ads, and 11.85% mobile games advertised between 100 to 299 ads.
For the Most Advertised Game Genres, Casual took the top spot in both App Volume and Ad Volume this month, at 19.7% and 17.4% respectively. Puzzle games followed, with 13.3% of App volume and 14% of ad volume. In addition, the Top Average Ad Volume for a Single App was Word, the second was Strategy, the same as in February, and the 3rd was taken by Music.
In terms of the Most Advertised Markets, game developers' advertising was more dispersed in April. The 1st place was jointly taken by North America and Southeast Asia, accounting for 32% each. The ad volume share of Western Europe, Latin America, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan of China, Japan, Korea and Central Europe were also above 17%.
Specifically on the Top 10 regions, the USA accounted for 23.1%, sitting at the top, but its share dropped significantly compared with March. The UK took 2nd place replacing Canada, accounting for 17.2%. The 3rd to 5th are Canada, France, and Germany respectively.
Looking at the Main Source Regions for Mobile Game Developers in April, Mainland China is still in the leading position for both ad volume and App volume, with 36.8% and 21% respectively. There was a 27% gap between China and Vietnam in second place regarding the share of ad volume.
As for developers, Matchingham Games won 1st place again. The 2nd and 3rd places were taken by OneSoft and IGG respectively. From the viewpoint of the main game genre of the developers on the ranking, most of them are mainly Casual/Hyper-casual game makers, such as Voodoo and SayGames, which have received a lot of attention in the past two years. Perhaps Casual/Hyper-casual games will be the key category to focus on in Q2.
Looking at the most advertised mobile games in April, Google Play is dominated by light categories such as Word, Casual and Puzzle. Matchingham Games' Braindom remains on top. There are 3 SLGs making the list, namely IGG's Lords Mobile: Kingdom Wars and Doomsday: Last Survivors, as well as Call of Dragons, a new game from Lilith Games and Lego Games.
It must be noted that miHoYo's new game Honkai: Star Rail, which was released on April 26, has landed 2nd on Google Play's ad ranking. This anime game started advertising during the pre-registration period, and the creative content was focused on the high quality of the game. According to SensorTower's estimation, the revenue of Honkai: Star Rail could reach 300 million in just 5 days after its release.
Glaciers Game's 超能世界 took #1 on the App Store ad ranking, the second product that Glaciers Game has successfully created with "hyper-casual ads". It also ranked #11 on Google Play's ranking. Ragnarok Origin Global, from Korean developer Gravity, was ranked #2 in the App Store ad ranking and #10 in Google Play's. It was newly released in Southeast Asia in April and topped the iOS revenue chart in 5 markets, Thailand, Philippines, Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia.
It's also worth mentioning that Nuverse's アース: リバイバル(Earth: Revival) made it to the top 15 of the App Store's mobile game ad ranking in April. This doomsday survival MMO had been released on Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan of China before, showing great potential. Then in April, it went into the Japanese market, where it was exposed and acquired users through massive advertising.
In April's Top Pre-registration ranking, the categories on App Store include Cards, Role Playing, Word, Strategy, Adventure, etc., while Role Playing and Strategy account for most on Google Play, with only one Board game, MONOPOLY GO! placed #8. This game has been officially released in some regions in April, and it is currently in pre-registration status only in the Middle East market.
Throughout the two lists, Code Geass 反叛的魯路修 失落物語 and 最强三国~黄金城の决戦 both advertised heavily during the pre-registration period. According to AppGrowing's "Game Pre-registration Calendar", the former will be available in Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan of China on May 18. As an IP adaptation, the core idea of its creative is "nostalgia".
As miHoYo's latest multi-platform release after Genshin Impact, Honkai: Star Rail has received a lot of attention from players even before its official release. In order to meet the needs of global release, it adopts a "global extensive advertising" approach, and the main regions are Japan, Hong Kong of China, the USA, Vietnam and Thailand, and the creative type is mainly horizontal video.
In terms of ad creatives, Honkai: Star Rail continues the idea in pre-registration period, mainly showing the game roles and scenes, and PV clips, highlighting miHoYo's strong technical power and brand.
Take the following creative as an example. The video mainly shows the fighting scenes of roles. By comparing the scenes of different roles, it shows the great combat, and ends with a dramatic scene, highlighting the game's light-hearted nature.
For example, the main content of the following creative is still to present the game's high-quality roles and fighting scenes. But live-action clips, where the anchor talking about the game features to the camera to trigger viewers' curiosity, are added at the beginning.
My11Circle is a Sports game by Indian developer Games24x7, which was mainly advertised in India in April. In fact, the game was released in 2020 and a new version was release in April 2023. It peaked at #4 on the iOS free chart in India and #2 on the Google Play games download ranking in April.
The creative types are mainly images and videos, accounting for 44.8% and 53.2% respectively. In terms of creative content, My11Circle makes great use of real-life performances.
For example, the video starts with the athlete hitting the ball. The ball flying towards the camera brings visual stimulation and enhances the sense of interaction with the viewers. Then the athlete introduces the gameplay to lead players to download the game.
And in this one, an interview with a person is shown at the beginning to introduce the game and its attractions. It then shows the scenes of playing and winning the game, and indirectly reflects the fun and strategy of the game with players.
*The above creatives are collected from public information by AppGrowing, and are only quoted for analysis and explanation, and the ownership belongs to the original author. The content is for general information only and should not be considered as an opinion or basis for specific matters.