It (Finally) Happened - The Most Downloaded Games in December

Ariel Ariel
1/27/23

This is a single insight from This Week in Apps - The Top (isn't) Stagnant. Check out the full article for more insights.


It (Finally) Happened - The Most Downloaded Games in December

Unlike apps, games saw the exact opposite trend in December with downloads moving up instead of down, in part thanks to China, hypercasual games, and "drive-by" titles.

Let me explain...

Most downloaded mobile games in December 2022

In first place we have a game that's only available in China. This is the first time that's happened! Although games that are also available in China or have a China-only version in addition to their worldwide release made it to the top, this is the first time a China-only app did that.

That's on the App Store's side, of course.

Overall, it's incumbent Subway Surfers that's made it to the top with 25 million new downloads. Similar to TikTok, Subway Surfers has commanded our charts in 2022 ranking first in 10 of the 12 months.

What's interesting to see is how much different this chart is when compared to November's. Where apps are very stagnant games aren't at all. Most of the titles on the list are new, and the few that aren't shifted a bit.

App Tracking Transparency has definitely changed how user acquisition is done at scale, but it hasn't killed it (yet?). I expect to see more of this happening in 2023.

Together, the top 10 most downloaded mobile games in the world made their way into 170 million new devices, according to our estimates. That's a massive increase of roughly 25%, which is somewhat expected for the holiday season.

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All figures included in this report are estimated. Unless specified otherwise, estimated revenue is always net, meaning it's the amount the developer earned after Apple and Google took their fee.


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