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What are the most popular mobile gaming app genres for Australians?

Table of Contents hide 1 Casual Puzzle Games 2 Racing Games 3 Action Games 4 Casino Games 5 Sports Games 6 Retro...

Written by Niel Patel · 3 min read >
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From the palms of our hands and with the simple swipe of a finger or thumb, we now have access to more gaming options via mobile devices than ever before. In fact, such is the constantly growing demand for new and innovative ideas, the Australian gaming apps market is expected to surpass AU$3.5 billion in revenues by the end of 2023.

That’s a massive sum of money, indicative of the huge demand for mobile gaming Down Under, fuelling a thriving industry filled with developers and publishers based in the country itself. But which games to Aussies most enjoy playing? Well, that’s an intriguing question, especially given the incredible diversity and variety of games available. 

Casual Puzzle Games 

Chances are you’ve probably heard of Candy Crush Saga, right? Well if not, we can guarantee you probably know somebody who does, at the very least. Across all platforms, including both desktop and mobile, Candy Crush has been downloaded more than 2.7 billion times.

Monthly engagement continues to be robust, according to data, reporting a steady average of 273 million monthly users through 2023. The record peak was achieved with 327 million monthly users was registered in 2015.

Unfortunately, app developer King are pretty guarded about precise user metrics, although in Australia, casual puzzle and Match-3 styled games are among the most downloaded.

Racing Games

In a country with huge open spaces and seemingly endless roads, driving is obviously a necessity. But that doesn’t mean Aussies are tired of getting behind the wheel, and proven by the popularity of games themed around motor sports,

In Australia, mobile versions of Real Racing and Need for Speed have a dedicated fan base, and whenever the Formula One grand prix is hosted in Melbourne, downloads for the official mobile game tends to spike.

As for the numbers, based on the most recent full year data for 2022, racing games were downloaded by more than 21 million times, across all platforms.

Action Games 

This niche is arguably the trickiest to pin down in detail, given there are lots of sub-genres and themes. These can range from platformers to shooters, exploration to stealth, and practically anything where the spheres of those genres merge.

However, there are several notably standout games within the genre, including PUBG Mobile and Fortnite among the most popular. 

Australians account for less than 1% of the overall Fortnite player base globally, although they are highly active, spending around 6-10 hours per week on the mobile version of the game.

Casino Games

Australians love to gamble and that’s a fact. Indeed, Aussies wager more per head of population than anywhere else in the world, and that number continues to grow via mobile devices. The gambling industry topped AU $7.1 billion in 2022 revenues.

But casino gamers in Australia are also smart, looking for the best bonuses and promotions, along with the broadest selection of games. Especially pokies, given the spinning reels are the most popular gaming niche.

That’s why Aussies look for trustworthy iGaming software reviews, carefully selecting the casino sites where they play, seeking out the most engaging and entertaining options.

Sports Games

When huge numbers of Australians aren’t busy betting on sports, they’re usually found attending rugby or footy matches, catching the latest cricket action or keeping apace with the latest motor sports news.

And when they’re not attending events or wagering, lots of Aussies get their kicks playing sports games via their mobile devices. Based on current statistics, more than a few readers might find charts for the most popular games quite surprising.

When we checked in the middle of October 2023, the top downloaded free sports game on Google Play was MADFUT 24, the latest iteration of this soccer-themed collectable card game. Top of the paid sports game apps chart was True Skate, just ahead of Football Manager 2023.

Retro Games

Although thousands of different games can fit within this genre, since digital gaming has been around for several decades now, the “retro” niche has gained its very own recognition.

Older gamers in Australia have fond memories of amusement arcades, filled with cabinets and screens, waggling joysticks and mashing buttons after inserting their coins. And lest we forget, classics like Pacman or Defender paved the way for the games we love today.

Retro games don’t need the latest mobile gadgets to work, they’ll run smoothly on pretty much anything in the palm of your hand. To give you some perspective, modern smartphones are more powerful than all the computers that put Apollo 11 on the moon. Just think about that.

Simulation Games

What could be more captivating than building your own gaming world? Well, you could start with constructing something in SimCity BuildIt, and hugely popular among Aussies who fancy building their own dream versions of Melbourne or Sydney.

Failing that, players can populate their fantasy neighbourhoods with pixel people, controlling their lives in whatever way seems entertaining. And there’s EA Games again with The Sims Mobile, expanding on the popular series that first arrived on desktop and console platforms.

Now it might be that we’re creative, managing our little virtual worlds. It might also be the need to control everything we touch. Either way, Aussies love these games, much like they enjoy reality TV shows.

Strategy Games 

Mobile titles like Clash of Clans and Clash Royale are highly popular, mostly for their tactical elements and the detailed strategic gameplay, where players cab build and manage armies or even entire civilizations.

Playing solo against AI opponents can be fun, of course, but nothing beats the buzz of utterly trouncing another human opponent. Bragging rights are part of the social gaming scene, after all.

While they can sometimes involve a lot of grinding and resource management, strategy games allow us to unleash our inner general or politician. And quite frankly, most of us could probably do a better job than certain leaders in real life.

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