Which video game genre has the biggest player base around the world? If you said “FPS”, “RPG” or “RTS”, you are probably wrong. Due to their widespread (and often “freemium”) availability and appeal to a vast variety of demographics, casual games are probably played by the largest number of players around the globe. This is in part due to many of them being mobile-first, and smartphones becoming the go-to gaming device for millions and millions of users out there in the world. But the “casual” genre is enormous, with a variety of subgenres of the games. This is probably why the most popular mobile games and casual games overlap in many cases. Let’s see, then, which game types are the most popular today.
Match 3 games
The first truly popular “match-3” game was Bejeweled, published by Popcap Games, now owned by EA. The game made a name for itself on PC first, then found its way to Facebook and mobile devices. Many games tried to emulate its success but the most successful ones to this day are the likes of King.com’s “Candy Crush” series and Playrix’s “Homescapes-Gardenscapes-Fishdom” trio.
“Candy Crush Saga” is one of the most popular and most-played casual game today, with a player count exceeding 500 million.
Slot machines are among the most popular games at casinos due to their exciting and hypercasual nature. Even the least detailed guide to online slots will probably mention their amazing variety and their absolutely unpredictable nature.
Slot machines, along with other casino games, are among the most popular casual games as well. All major app stores have their share of slots, blackjack games, and other table games, and they even have considerable revenue – at its peak, Slotomania, one of the most popular social slots games, had an active user count of 100 million.
Who hasn’t heard of “Subway Surfers”? This popular “endless running” game, launched in 2012 by Kiloo Games, was among the most popular mobile games last year, breaking the 1 billion download barrier last summer, and having more than 280 million active players by December 2018.
Like all other popular games, it has spawned many copies both from independent developers and major studios: Gameloft’s “Despicable Me: Minion Rush”, launched in 2013, had 900 million downloads as of March 2019, and Temple Run by Imangi Studios had a player count of 500 million back in 2013.
Smartphones are the perfect medium for playing casual games – and most smartphone owners use them to play at least one of them. Their massive reach (there are now around 3 billion active smartphones in the world) makes them the most lucrative gaming medium, especially because of the affordable in-app purchases inside the games.