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2020 Will Be the Year of Android Gaming As iOS Engagement Dips, Shows Liftoff’s Mobile Gaming Report

The new report also sees a golden age of mobile gaming in APAC, with a 190.7% boost in install-to-in-app-purchase rates YoY


Liftoff, the leader in mobile app marketing and retargeting, today released its annual report on the thriving market of mobile gaming in partnership with AppsFlyer, global leader in mobile attribution. The annual study reveals a perfect storm for gaming app marketers as the platform wars heat up, with Android finally leveling the playing field for mobile gaming. The report also takes a look at key trends in regional engagement, revealing the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region as a valuable market for gaming apps looking to go global. 

Analyzing over 107 billion ad impressions, nearly 82 million installs and 14 million first in-app purchases from 555 gaming apps between June 2018 and May 2019, the report found the following:

Android dethrones iOS as gaming king
In last year’s annual report, Liftoff found that iOS dominated the platform wars, with Android gearing up as a contender. This year, that prediction comes true, with data projecting 2020 to be the year of Android gaming. 

At $3.21 Android users are a bargain to acquire, compared to their iOS counterparts at $4.85. But the real shift shows up at the all-important in-app-purchase (IAP) stage. Last year, the install-to-IAP rate for iOS users was nearly double that of Android. But this year’s data shows engagement for iOS gamers has seen a steep decline (21% to 13.2%), leveling the playing field with Android’s 9.5%. 

And the promise of Android gaming doesn’t stop there: Asus recently launched its 2019 gaming phone, RoG Phone II.  The phone -- the most powerful hardware seen in any Android phone to-date -- sold out in 73 seconds -- faster than most iPhones. 

Overall, Android proves to be the better buy. The significant drop in iOS users’ in-app purchase rates will put some pressure on marketers to revisit their platform-based strategies. Take into account these trends, and consider shifting some focus toward Android’s greener pastures. 

When it comes spending on mobile gaming, Americans take 2nd place to APAC
The APAC region is a booming market for mobile gaming, and Liftoff’s data shows that APAC users are willing to pay, play, and stay around. In the last year alone, the install-to-IAP rate in APAC has grown 190.7% (up to 10.7%), while acquisition costs have plummeted by nearly half, down to $41.87 from last year’s $71.02. 

Meanwhile, in North America, the gaming market is robust -- though perhaps to a fault. Year-over-year, IAP rates are down, plummeting to 13.2% from 2018’s 21.76%. However, costs to acquire a purchasing user have swelled to $36.40 -- a 70% increase year-over-year. 

The takeaway? North America may be a textbook model for robust growth in the mobile gaming market, but the data reveals several countries where potential is enormous, yet the user acquisition costs are not. With the exponential growth in in-app purchase behavior, mobile marketers looking to grow their base may want to set their sights on APAC. 

To learn more about Liftoff and view the complete findings, view the full report at

The Liftoff 2019 Mobile Gaming Apps Report is based on an analysis of internal data from June 1, 2018 - May 31, 2019, including 107.3 billion ad impressions, 1.6 billion clicks, 81.7 million app installs and 13.9 million in-app purchases. The report tracked the costs and conversion rates associated with marketing mobile games, as well as retention rates from AppsFlyer (Day 1, Day 3, Day 7, Day 14 and Day 30), as well as total downloads and in-app purchase revenue from Apptopia. It also features data broken out by platform (iOS and Android), gaming sub-categories (Midcore & Strategy, Casual, Hyper Casual, Social Casino), regions (APAC, EMEA and North America), and 8 countries(Brazil, Canada, Germany, Japan, Russia, South Korea, the U.S. and the U.K.). 

About Liftoff
Liftoff is a performance-based mobile app marketing and retargeting platform which uses post-install user data to run true cost-per-action user acquisition and re-engagement campaigns. Powered by advanced machine learning and lookalike targeting, Liftoff campaigns are optimized to drive actions beyond the install, like booking a hotel, making a reservation, or renewing a subscription. Liftoff’s cost-per-action model helps customers scale and grow by acquiring users that actively spend in revenue-producing events. Headquartered in Palo Alto, CA with offices in New York, London, Paris, Seoul, Singapore, and Tokyo, Liftoff works with the leading app publishers and brands around the globe.  

About AppsFlyer
AppsFlyer’s technology is found on 98 percent of the world’s smartphones, making it the global leader in mobile attribution and marketing analytics. Data-driven marketers rely on AppsFlyer for independent measurement solutions and innovative tools to grow and protect their mobile business. AppsFlyer’s platform processes billions of mobile actions every day, empowering app marketers and developers to maximize the return on their marketing investments. AppsFlyer’s NativeTrack™ Attribution, Marketing Analytics Data, OneLink’s Deep linking capabilities and the Active Fraud Suite featuring DeviceRank have made AppsFlyer’s platform the go-to resource for the most successful mobile apps in the world. With Facebook, Google, Twitter, Pinterest, Snap Inc., Tencent and 4,000+ other integrated partners, and clients including HBO, Playtika, Waze, Alibaba, Kayak, Activision and 12,000+ leading brands worldwide, AppsFlyer has 15 global offices to support marketers everywhere. To learn more, visit

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