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Best Google Play Game Categories by 2019-2020 Download Trends

Best Google Play Game Categories by 2019-2020 Download Trends

Last update: 23 Sep 2020 21:01 CET
Best Google Play Game Categories by 2019-2020 Download Trends

With the advent of affordable mobile devices and widespread access to high-speed internet and 4G networks, mobile game developers have irrefutably usurped the gaming crown from their PC and console-based rivals.

But this brave new world of mobile gaming brings with it a unique set of challenges. While the Xbox One boasts nearly 2,500 games, and Playstation 4 offers over 2,600, Google Play offers gamers nearly half a million options. Indeed, based on our calculations — which you can find on our app store stats pages — that’s just under 12% of all apps available on the platform. As such, mobile game studios face the daunting challenge of standing out in a crowded market.

So, to help connect developers with their target consumers, Google has created 49 app and game categories. These range from ‘Action’, to ‘Puzzle’, to ‘Trivia’, and beyond. In this piece, we’ll cover the best game categories on Google Play by downloads over the last year. The data provided will be updated automatically on a weekly basis.

Now, before we go much further, we’d like to remind the mobile game designers out there that, because Google’s categories often overlap and vary in specificity, determining the best categories for your games requires some extra brainpower.

Compounding matters: one cannot assume that by selecting the most precise or best-sounding categories they will achieve the best possible results. So, that ‘extra brainpower’ will require some real-world insights into the mobile game market.

This is where game category download estimate trends come into play; these estimates provide valuable insight into the popularity of each category. This information can then be used by game developers to avoid downward trending categories and identify those on the rise. It can also be used to identify less competitive categories (i.e. those with fewer games) that appear to be on an upswing in terms of downloads.

If your head is already spinning, don’t worry! In what follows, we will provide a starting point for navigating the deceptively tricky process of picking the best categories for your games. We’ll cover:

  • The Best 5 Upward-trending Google Play Game Categories by Downloads from to
  • The 5 Most Downward-trending Google Play Game Categories by Downloads from to
  • The Best 5 ‘Large’ Google Play Game Categories by Global Downloads in
  • The Best 5 ‘Small’ Google Play Game Categories by Global Downloads in

Onward!

The Best 5 ‘Large’ Google Play App Categories by Global Downloads in

Now, it’s important to remember that not all app categories are alike — some are naturally larger than others. For instance, there will be more apps filed under ‘Games’ than under ‘Casino’, since ‘Casino’ is more or less a subset of ‘Games’.

However, it should not be assumed that because one category has more competition than another that it will therefore represent a larger share of global downloads. Indeed, it’s possible that less competitive categories can be overrepresented in global downloads owing to the extreme popularity of one or some of its apps.

In any case, these natural differences in app categories present app publishers with a dilemma:

  • Should they place their app in a more competitive environment that receives more traffic, but where they run the risk of blending in with the crowd?
  • Or should they place their app in a less competitive environment, where they will have a better chance of standing out, but receive less traffic?

This is a challenging question; and, of course, the answer varies from business to business. Still, with this in mind, we’ve taken a look at the top 5 ‘large’ (i.e. more competitive) and ‘small’ (i.e. less competitive) categories to offer app publishers a starting point to address it.

We begin with the best 5 ‘large’ categories. The following chart depicts annual downloads by category as a percentage of the sum of annual downloads for the top five categories. So, the percentages here should add up to 100%.



As you can see, Arcade ranks highest with 68,444 apps representing 10.7% of global downloads. Puzzle comes next with 67,397 apps making up 9.46% of global downloads. Then comes Casual with 13.92% making up 62,796 apps of global downloads. Then Action with 16.28% making up 32,934 apps of global downloads. Then, finally, Educational with 32,573 apps making up 4.76% of global downloads.

Contact us for a free consultation to see which categories round out the best 10!

The Best 5 ‘Small’ Google Play App Categories by Global Downloads in

Now the welterweights. Just as before, the following chart depicts annual downloads by category as a percentage of the sum of annual downloads for the top five categories. The percentages here should add up to 100% as well.


Here you’ll find that Role playing ranks highest with 11,721 apps representing 3.97% of global downloads. Strategy comes next with 10,863 apps making up 2.6% of global downloads. Then comes Card with 10,430 apps making up 0.82% of global downloads. Then Casino with 7,898 apps making up 0.82% of global downloads. Then, finally, Music with 5,526 apps making up 2.23% of global downloads.

Going Beyond App Categories...

So, those are the best Google Play app categories by 2019-2020 download trends. By now we’ve hopefully done enough to show you that selecting the best categories for your app is not merely a descriptive exercise. It is, in fact, a critical piece to driving downloads.

Still, it is not the only factor. You’ll need to consider:

  • App name
  • App description
  • Rating and reviews
  • Updates and changelog
  • Download trends
  • And more

By understanding how these things work and how successful apps are leveraging them, you’ll be better positioned to build a profitable mobile business.

Don’t let this overwhelm you. Schedule a free demo and we’ll walk you through everything.