5 Most Downloaded Mobile Games of 2020
2020 was a good year for the mobile industry. As users spent more time on their devices, slouched in their homes in the wake of the lockdown restrictions due to the ongoing pandemic, mobile devices proved to be the preferred choice of entertainment.
The App Annie summary reported around 20% growth in each area for the mobile sector, ranging from App Store spend to downloads. Games were a popular category in downloads, with core gamers generating a major portion of total spend and average time spent on their mobile devices.
Let us see which games topped the charts in 2020 in terms of downloads.
1. Gardenscapes – New Acres
Part of the Playrix’s Scapes series, Gardenscapes was the first installation of the series developed by Playrix Holding Limited. The developers have been in the gaming industry since 2004 and had first envisioned Gardenscapes as a game better suited for desktops.
The game revolves around Austin and his mission to build a garden. Playrix managed to ensure they keep the users hooked with the storyline that spans over 6000 levels, with several levels added every week. The freemium model has worked wonders for Gardenscapes and Playrix decided to retain the same for the remaining parts of their series of games based on the same concept.
Gardenscapes’ success is largely due to the combination of several intriguing mechanisms. The decision to couple the Match-3 concept with Storytelling was a hit for Playrix as it not only ushered in popularity in terms of downloads but also raked in revenue.
Gardenscapes is a simple game backed by good visuals, quality graphics, intriguing game mechanisms and an entertaining story.
2. PUBG Mobile
The record-breaking mobile game that found users glued to its battle royale experience fell to fourth on the list mainly due to their absence from the Indian Market for the second half of 2020.
Developed by KRAFTON, PUBG Mobile is based on their popular PC game PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, which was a cult hit in the Battle Royale Genre. However, the mobile version achieved far more success than the PC version, mainly due to the availability and economic factor, with the game acting on the same freemium model, compared to the PC version, which is not Free to Play.
In what could have been a historic year for PUBG Mobile, they spent most of the second half of the calendar figuring out a way to re-enter the Indian Market. The game has been teased to be close to making its return, albeit with a new revamped version of the app but uncertainty looms over its return date.
Despite the setback, PUBG Mobile has continued to rake in a record audience and was top on the list of the games with the most active users, leaving its competitors like Free Fire and Call of Duty: Mobile behind.
2021 feels like it could elevate PUBG Mobile to greater heights, with the brand expanding their competitive exposure to more countries as they gear up to regain their lost share in the Indian market.
3. Subway Surfers
The name has a literal relationship to the mechanics of the game, with the intent being on surviving on the subway tracks for as long as possible as the users face incoming trains, obstacles and more on their journey.
Released in 2012, Subway Surfers is perhaps, the only endless running game that has managed to maintain its relevance and stay at the top of the Mobile gaming pyramid.
Adjudged the most downloaded game of the decade between 2012 and 2019, Subway Surfers have expanded their market by investing time into creating assets beyond the game, including an Animated Series based on the storyline.
4. Among Us
InnerSloth hit the jackpot in the 2020 lockdown bingo with Among Us. Although released in 2018, Among Us shot to popularity during the lockdown phase, with popular streamers, content creators and gamers in general, turning to the multiplayer game for fun.
What drove the downloads of its mobile version was the fact that it was free, unlike its PC version available on Steam. The mechanics of the game is simple. Based in space and on a space shuttle, there are a maximum of 10 inhabitants on the shuttle, with a maximum of 2 impostors among them.
The crewmates have to find and eliminate the impostors or complete ‘tasks’ before the latter either kill all the crew members or successfully manages to sabotage the shuttle. It can be chalked down as a survival multiplayer with a simplistic graphical experience and more emphasis on the mechanics.
Its popularity hasn’t waned one bit and with InnerSloth doling out a new map while also teasing upcoming features to enhance the user experience, one can only expect them to keep flourishing in 2021.
5. Free Fire
The Garena produced Battle Royale pounced on the opportunity created by the suspension of PUBG Mobile from Indian Markets and seized most of the vacated market share. Free Fire not only reigned supreme in terms of downloads but also managed to enter several markets with its aggressive marketing policy, collaborating with popular brands, personalities and concepts in 2020.
Like PUBG Mobile, Free Fire is a Battle Royale and is Free to Play, with the app also working on the freemium model. The continuous developments and updates that Free Fire has been able to introduce is one major reason for the monumental increase in market share.
Their challenge for 2021 would be to compete and successfully retain their top spot, at least in the Battle Royale and Esports genre, with PUBG Mobile expected to be their toughest rival once again.