Game Market Overview. The Most Important Reports Published in October 2021

All about mobile, PC and console games as of October 2021: top-grossing games, most popular games, worldwide downloads, number of players, trends on different markets, and more
Game Market Overview. The Most Important Reports Published in October 2021
Dmitriy Byshonkov

devtodev is helping you keep in touch with what’s happening in the game market. Every month we publish an overview of reports on the most popular games worldwide, top-grossing games, successful releases, favorite video game types, trends, etc. This overview is prepared by Dmitriy Byshonkov - the author of the GameDev Reports by devtodev Telegram channel.  You can read the July and August reports.

Table of Content

Sensor Tower: Mobile Apps Revenue in Q3 2021 amounted to near $34 Billion

Global consumer spending


  • YoY growth to the previous year is about 15.1%. Google Play has a higher growth rate - 18.6%.

Global downloads

  • Downloads decreased by 1.9% YoY - from 36.4B installs to 35.7B.

Global consumer spending q3

  • Spends on mobile games increased by 7.7% in Q3 2021 compared to the previous year and reached $22.4B. $13.1B of this sum belongs to App Store (+5.6% YoY). Google Play is responsible for $9.3B (+10.7% YoY).

Top grossing games q3

  • PUBG Mobile became the most successful game of Q3 2021 by revenue. Honor of Kings is in second place; Genshin Impact is in third.

Global downloads mobile

  • Mobile games downloads in Q3 2021 fell down by 3.5% YoY to 13.6B installs. App Store suffered more (-8.7%) than Google Play (-2.5%).

Top games worldwide q3

  • The most downloaded games were PUBG Mobile, My Talking Angela 2, and Subway Surfers.


AppMagic: Top Mobile Games of September 2021 by Revenue and Downloads


Top grossing games september

  • Genshin Impact earned $162.7M last month. $98.1M belongs to App Store, $64.5M - to Google Play.

  • Harry Potter: Magic Awakened reached fifth place on the iOS chart in September with $55.1M of revenue.

  • Battle of Golden Spatula, a Chinese adaptation of Teamfight Tactics, from Tencent & Riot Games, received $41.2M last month.


Top free games september

  • Destiny Run from Voodoo was first in September with 46.8M of downloads (43.5M are from Google Play).

  • The most downloaded game on iOS in September was the Harry Potter: Magic Awakened, not another hypercasual title. It was downloaded 5.6M times.

  • The second place on both platforms reached Makeup Artist, which was downloaded 30.3M times.

  • The third place and 21.6M of downloads belong to Stone Miner.


GameRefinery: Strategic Genre overview on October 2021 in the US

Strategic genre games october

  • Currently, the Strategy genre is the third by revenue on iOS in the US. It’s responsible for 17% of the market volume.

  • 4X Strategies are continuing to develop, draining more mechanics from other genres.

  • Supercell is the only company in the US, which is managed to reach the Strategy top with games other than 4X Strategy.

  • The only brand new game that reached top-10 Strategy last year was Puzzles & Survival from 37GAMES.


Tapjoy: Millennials playing on Mobile more than on Consoles & PC


Obviously, nobody plays like this.

  • People who were born from 1981 to 1996 are called Millennials. The new report from Tapjoy is telling, that 82% of this generation is playing on Mobile. 37% on Consoles and only 27% on PC. It’s very likely to the Gen Z consumption.

  • About 70% of Millenials are playing games on daily basis.

  • Millennials are very receptive to mobile ads. The rewarded video format is on top for them.


Interpet and Consumer Technology Association: Esports audience will reach 519M in 2024

Spending on gaming

  • Currently, CTA evaluating the audience of Esports events at 300M people.

  • The US and Europe will show the highest growth rate. In the US the number of people watching Esports events will grow to 48M (+129%), while in Europe (France, Germany, the UK) - to 32M (+78%).

  • As Interpet research showed, Esports fans are paying more in games. During the last 12 months in the US and South Korea, they have spent 84% more than the average gamer. In Germany, the difference was 6%.


Sensor Tower: Top Grossing Mobile Games in September 2021

Worldwide game revenue

  • Genshin Impact led the chart with $341.7M of revenue. 31.6% of revenue came from the Chinese App Store; the US is next (21.7%), Japan is in third place (21%).

  • Honor of Kings is in second place with $209M of revenue. About 95% of revenue came from China, an additional 2% - from Taiwan.

  • Harry Potter: Magic Awakened is one of the most successful releases of the year. The game managed to earn $138.2M in the first launch. No mobile Harry Potter game start was better.

  • In general, the mobile gaming market earned $7.3B in September. It’s 11% higher than a year before.

  • The largest market of September was the US ($2B, 28% of all revenue). Japan is next (20.5%), China is third (18%). But Sensor Tower doesn’t count alternative App Stores.


The Walking Dead: No Man’s Land earned $151M in 6 years

No mans land game

  • The game was downloaded 23M times.

  • The most loyal users are spending up to 70 minutes in game per day.


NPD: The Gaming Market in the US lost half of the users gained during the pandemic

Smartphone player

In 2020 the number of the US citizens playing games increased from 73% to 79%.

  • This year's research shows, that the number declined to 76%. It means that half of the audience came because of the pandemic, left.

  • But it didn’t stop the market revenue in H1 2021 to reach 35% more in revenue, than during the same period the year before.

  • NPD also sees an increase in time spent in games. In 2021 the US people spent, on average, 16.5 hours per week. In 2020 this number amounted to 14.8 hours, and in 2019 - to 12.7 hours.


Newzoo: CoD, Battlefield and Halo players Research

Battlefield Call of duty

  • Among the surveyed, Call of Duty has the highest unique share of players - 33%. Another 9% are playing only Halo, and 8% - only Battlefield. 21% of respondents are playing all three series.

  • The majority of the audience of CoD, Halo, and Battlefield is the age from 21 to 35.

  • Halo has the highest female share - 33%.

Halo player statistics

  • Players are choosing Battlefield and Halo for the teamwork and collaboration, while Call of Duty is frequently launched to unwind and relax.

  • Lack of time is the most popular reason to stop playing Call of Duty. In the meanwhile, lack of content is the most unpopular reason.

Call of duty statistics

  • However, for Battlefield and Halo, this is a big problem. Interest loss is the most frequent reason why players are leaving the game.


Sensor Tower: Top Mobile Games by Downloads in September 2021

Worldwide downloads september

  • Pokemon Unity became the main hit of September with 33M of downloads. Most part (21.8%) came from the US, for other 12% Brazil is responsible.

  • Hypercasual Destiny Run from Voodoo is in second place with 26.8M of downloads. Brazil generated 11%, India - 10%.

  • In September 2021 4.2B games were downloaded from App Store and Google Play. This is 4.3% lower than a year before.

  • The largest market by downloads is India (746.7M - 17.7% of overall volume). The US is in second place (8.3%), Brazil is third (8.2%).


NPD: Americans have spent on Games $4.4B in September


  • It’s 3% more than a year before.

  • By the end of September, the gaming market in the US generated $42.3B. It’s 12% higher than the same period in 2020.

  • Hardware sales increased by 49% and reached $412M.

  • PlayStation 5 became the best-selling console in both unit & dollar sales, interrupting Nintendo Switch 33-month hegemony.

  • Americans spent $3.78B on gaming products (including subscriptions and Cloud Gaming).

  • Accessory spendings got lower by 12% compared to the previous year and resulted in $171M.

  • Madden NFL 22, FIFA 22, and NBA 2K22 are the top-3 games of the September chart.


StreamElements & The amount of watched hours in Twitch increased by 20% to the previous year

Twitch facebook gaming

  • Users have watched 1.7B hours of streams in September. It’s 20% higher than a year before.

  • Facebook Gaming reached 500M hours of watched streams, showed 50% growth to September last year.

  • The most-watched game of last month was GTA V (142M hours). Valorant is next (88M hours), and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (60M hours). New World from Amazon reached top-10 for the first time.


Naavik & Wooga: There are too few LGBTQ+ characters in mobile casual puzzles

Switch craft game

  • In top-50 casual puzzles, only 20% of main characters are BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) representatives. And only 4% of them are lead characters.

  • 80% of lead characters in such projects are women. If we’re talking about supportive characters, then women representative drops to 36%.

  • In 40% of top-50 mobile casual puzzles no BIPOC people at all.

  • Only 1% of characters in top-50 casual puzzles can be identified as LGBTQ+.

  • In Switchcraft from Wooga (who have ordered the research) - equal representation of men and women. Moreover, 63% of characters are BIPOC. 38% (up to 50% due to freedom of choice of the sexual orientation of Bailey Ward) of characters are LGBTQ+ representatives.


Sensor Tower: European Consumers have paid more in Mobile Apps & Games in Q3 2021

European consumer spending apps

  • European consumers have spent $4.6B in Q3 2021. It’s 21% higher than a year before.

  • Europe is responsible for 13.6% of overall apps spending in Q3 2021.

European consumer spending general

  • Games revenue resulted in $2.7B - it’s 60% of the overall amount. The European’s mobile games revenue increased by 16.7% compared to Q3 2020.

  • Players have spent $1.6B (+14.3% YoY) in Google Play, while App Store revenue was $1.1B (+10% YoY).

  • The largest market for Google Play in Europe is Germany ($366M), for App Store - UK ($269.7M).

European mobile game downloads q3 2021

  • Downloads in Q3 2021 in mobile games declined by 3.4% to 2.8M. Google Play is responsible for 2.3M of downloads.

Top grossing games europe

  • PUBG Mobile is the most successful game in Europe in Q3 2021 with more than $100M of revenue (+56.7% YoY). Coin Master & State of Survival are the following.

Europe top games downloads

  • The most downloaded mobile game in Europe of Q3 2021 was Count Masters (16M downloads).


GameRefinery & Liftoff: Social Casino Market in 2021

Social casino revenue

  • Social Casino titles in the US earned about $1B for the last year only in the US.


  • The average CPI is $7.21. On Android the traffic is cheaper (about $5), on iOS it’s twice as higher.

Social casino roas

  • The average 7 Day ROAS is 11.12%; 30 Day ROAS - 25.18%. It’s interesting, that compared to 30 Day, the Android traffic is more reasonable to buy.

Social casino cpi

  • The lowest CPI’s are in the LATAM region ($1.43). But the Day 30 ROAS there is only 15.81%. Users cost less but pay significantly worse.

Social casino games worldwide

  • The most popular feature in top-100 Social Casinos is collectible albums. Special side-modes and piggy bank features are next.

Link to the full version of the report.

Newzoo: American Gamer Portrait

America gamer portrait

  • The US gaming market is $41.1B of revenue and 190M of players.

  • Games are a big part of US citizens of all ages. On average, 21% of free time online-active population spend on games. Only broadcast television watching is ahead - 23%.

  • The younger the generation, the more it plays. The US population in age from 10 to 20 years spend in games 26% of their free time; segment from 21 to 35 years - 25%; from 36 to 50 years - 21% of free time.

American gamers puzzle solving

  • 60% of users are playing games to relax and unwind. 48% - to fill free time. 40% - to escape the real-life routine.

  • The most popular franchises in the US are Candy Crush (39% of users played it last half a year), Call of Duty (36%), Mario (35%), Minecraft (32%), Fortnite (32%).

American gamers enjoy

  • The US gamers prefer, in general, realistic visual style in a fantasy setting.

American gamers beverage brands

  • 84% of players regularly eat and drink while playing.


Now you have the entire picture of the current game market. If you have any questions, feel free to ask the author using the contact details provided at the beginning of this review.

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