Mobile Games Developer Trends Survey 2020: 10 key takeaways

Oct 14, 2020 | Campaigns, Insights

What a year it’s been! First developers and publishers had to navigate the global pandemic. Then came the IDFApocalypse!  

To try to make sense of 2020 and understand what lies ahead, AdInMo has partnered with to bring you the Mobile Games Developer Trends Survey 2020.

You can download the full study here, but in case you’re in a rush – here are the 10 key takeaways: 


1. Android (86.7%) is the most important platform (86.7%) for game developers and publishers, followed by Apple (79.1%), portable consoles (20.2%), HTML5 (11.4%) and other smartphone OS (10.7%) 

2. Because most mobile games are now run as a service, the majority of developers (42.4%) didn’t release any games in the last twelve months. A quarter (27.9%) released just one, while 3.2% have released more than ten

3. In-app purchases (65.8%) and In-game advertising (53.8%) are the primary business models for mobile games, alongside premium (30.4%) and loot boxes (17.1%) 

4. Most developers are now planning to self-publish (44.3%) their next game(s), but a third (34.8%) still intend to go down the publisher route 

5. The big trend for 2020 has, unsurprisingly, been the growth in hypercasual games (47.4%)

6. Developers point to increased play-time (46.3%), people watching games (Eg. Twitch) (43.2%) and real-time competitive multiplayer games (31.6%) as other notable trends of 2020

7. The most popular technologies used by developers include augmented reality (55.1%), virtual reality (49%), games for streaming services (24.5%), 5G (12.2%) and blockchain (10.2%)

8. Publishers and developers see rising UA costs (58.9%), increasing marketing costs (46.3%) and increased competition (54.7%) and as the global mobile games industry’s biggest threats 

9. Most developers are making casual (59.5%) and mid-core/core (51.3%) games – followed by hardcore (21.5%), childrens (15.2%) and Competitive/eSports (12.7%) 

10. The key opportunities for the mobile games industry in 2021 are new monetization methods (47.4%), in-game dynamic advertising (46.3%), blockchain (43.2%) and the growth in free-to-play titles (31.6%)

Make sure to sign up to the AdInMo newsletter or follow us on LinkedIn to get early access to part 2 where we take a deep-dive into monetization trends.


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