Call of Duty Mobile's highly successful mobile port has inspired many AAA developers to move to mobile. It has been more than two years since the last best-selling shooter was launched, and some promising contenders from the biggest developers are about to emerge. With space in the shooter genre market, the future of shooters looks bright, and it remains to be seen if more AAA shooter ports will start to appear in the best-selling lists. This is likely to attract a larger PC/console audience for mobile devices, which in turn is very good news for non-IP mobile shooters.
Shooter game market analysis
Over the past few years, shooters have become a very important genre in mobile games. It is the 6th largest genre in the US iOS market and contributes about 6% of the market revenue. Currently, only seven of the top 200 grossing shooters account for more than 84% of revenue from the "Big Three" - Call of Duty: Mobile, PUBG Mobile and Garena Free Fire. Gree Fire has been the best growth rocket this year, more than doubling its revenue on iOS in the United States.
Shooter game audience
According to Newzzoo's research, Gen Z players prefer Battle Royale, Sandbox and MOBA games. fortnite, Roblox, Minecraft and among us are their favorite franchises. gen Z players primarily prefer puzzle, shooter and sports games.
To learn more about audience research, you can check "How to Drive Your App Promotion With User Persona And Market Research?
" of our previous articles.
Shooter game types
We have divided shooters into 4 subcategories.
- Multiplayer shooters (FPS/3PS) categorized by PvP action (e.g. Call of Duty)
- Battle Royale (e.g. Jedi, Fortnite) which could technically be considered a subcategory of multiplayer shooters, but which is worth checking out due to its popularity.
- Tactical shooters with much slower action, often involving pay-per-progress mechanics (e.g.: World of Tanks)
- Sniper games where the player only shoots and doesn't move (ex: Sniper 3D) Let's go through each one in order.
The sniper game that started as a shooter has become a mature market segment. It has grown significantly less than the shooter genre as a whole.
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Tactical team shooters, such as Warbots and World of Tanks, are the genre that emerged after Sniper. The genre has experienced healthy growth, growing by 31% through 2020.
Then came battle royale games, which emerged in 2018. Installations remained largely unchanged compared to 2020 and 2019. Meanwhile, revenues continue to climb at a very respectable rate. Two things to note, however: 1) PUBG brings in nearly 60% of all genre revenue, while 60% of PUBG's revenue ($1B) comes from China. 2) Fortnite's Android revenue is partial, with iOS revenue dropping to zero in August 2020.
Revenue from first and third person (FPS/TPS) shooters has almost doubled from last year. Call of Duty Handheld was the title that drove most of the growth. The game quadrupled its revenue over the year, while also bringing in three-quarters of the revenue for the subgenre. We expect FPS/TPS shooters to continue to grow.
Growth opportunities within shooter game trends
Shooter game character cosmetics
In addition to the increased download share, the increased participation is combined with its level playing cosmetic economy. You will see that the largest games in the category are cosmetic-focused, and when participation increases in cosmetic-focused economies, revenue grows in tandem.
All of this is driven by some of the most onerous live content operations in the industry. In addition to the content treadmill that requires hundreds of cosmetic items to drive monetization, these top mobile shooters require fast-paced, new game modes and events. In order for players to return for each season and each event - there needs to be content that impacts gameplay for players to enjoy. This year has proven the importance of that content. pubg mobile, cod mobile, garena free fire, fortnite and knives out have all introduced amazing game modes and cosmetics that keep players coming back. These games have garnered some of the best retention curves in the industry.
Player cooperation mode
Content-rich combat passes, an ever-increasing number of new maps and game modes, and the drive to play with friends all fuel retention in modern shooters. However, not all players enjoy the competitive player-versus-player situations where losing is more common than winning.
With the exception of sniper games, all shooter genres are in direct competition with mobile pit players. While they encourage player cooperation, only a few of them offer character classes and ways for players to specialize. Most importantly, the lack of any sort of power progression puts all the emphasis on skill, so it can be off-putting to a more mature audience that can't keep up with younger shooters.
We've already seen PUBG launch Metro Royale game modes and NetEase launch Badlanders. both emphasize session-to-session gameplay and offer a degree of power progression.
The winners of this year's introduction of novelty have to be Fortnite and PUBG Mobile. Fortnite's "Spy Within" mode - which quickly caught on with the Transmaphobia trend among us - has quickly been introduced in the game. trend, and quickly introduced a similar mode to the game - along with cosmetic rewards that encouraged players to try it out.
PUBG Mobile launched Metro Royale, a "predator shooter" version of their game that fundamentally changed the way players play. Taking notes from Battlestate's "Escape from Tarkov" and Bohemia's "Vigor", they added real progress to Battle Royale! Now, instead of losing all the loot at the end of the game, the goal of the game is to collect as much loot as possible and exit the map without getting killed. This feels like the betting mechanic on steroids - every match is a roll of the dice, whether you get the loot you want or not.
Shooter marketing strategy
ASO in the App Store and Google Play
Before inviting users to the download page, make sure you have filled it out correctly. It will help you showcase the game and generate free user traffic. Don't forget that many players are using keywords to find new ways to be entertained. If there is enough content in the description, the chances of new users finding your game will increase.
Updating product details and the keywords in searches is not something that can be set and forgotten on launch day. Search results and rankings on the App Store and Play Store are based on complex dynamic algorithms. The combination of user search queries and keywords determines search results and rankings. The details of the App Store and Play Store algorithms are kept secret. In addition, these algorithms evolve periodically to produce more relevant results.
To learn more about keyword conduct, you can check "How to Conduct Competitive ASO Keyword Optimization Analysis
" of our previous articles.
This is the easiest and most obvious way to target mobile apps. Smartphones are readily available. Therefore, after seeing an ad on a social network, users can go directly to the app page and download the app. The shorter the customer journey, the more effective the ad will be. The main advantage of targeted advertising is that you can select your audience based on interests, use retargeting and study the portrait of potential players.
In-game video ads
Often, mobile gamers will play more than one game. Therefore, promoting some games among others is a very effective strategy. You can place ads in the free version of the same game, or use other games with similar mechanics and meaning. Or, you can use your other programs for cross-promotion.
Streamers and influencers
Twitch and other streaming services are becoming increasingly popular. Today, people can learn about this new game through broadcasts from their favorite bloggers or by watching a walkthrough on YouTube. Find bloggers talking about your type of game and request reviews or ads.
Community on social networks
It is a powerful tool for natural traffic. Create Facebook groups, Youtube channels, Twitter, Tik-Tok or Instagram profiles and use your creativity. You can attract players for free with viral content, modalities, jokes or colorful screenshots. If you create interesting and engaging quality content, people will share it for free!
You can also use contests and events to increase your social media presence. You can use in-game items and currency as prizes, which will be another magnet to attract new players. Once you've won 500 coins, you might want to download the game and see what you can spend it on, right?
In addition, there are many tools available on social media to increase natural reach. Schedule a challenge to write posts about a discussion topic - then your publication will attract users without paid promotion.