Half of mobile gamers now say they prefer ad-supported games over pay-to-play or in-app purchases only games. Interest in ad-supported games has grown steadily since 2017, up 138% in 2021, according to the latest Modern Mobile Gamer® report from Tapjoy.

Mobile gamers play an average of 10+ hours of games per week and 57% admit to playing more games on smartphones than they did five years ago.

Parents (58%), Gen X (54%), and women (52%) are the most likely to play multiple times per day.

The report also found that Puzzle games were the top mobile genre with 55% respondents considering its their favourite. In 2021 Action/Adventure games were the most popular genre.

Good news for developers and marketers as 60% of gamers discover new games via ads in other games.

And 39% will try new games if their friends are playing them or 33% find them via recommendations on app stores.

“Just in time for GDC, we’re thrilled to release the latest game developer and UA-focused Modern Mobile Gamer® report. This year marks the fifth anniversary of Modern Mobile Gamer®, and to celebrate, we’re examining how mobile habits have changed in that time while also looking to the future,” said Lauren Baca, Senior Director of Marketing at Tapjoy. “We’ve found that most mobile gamers are playing every day, often multiple times a day, sometimes switching among four or more favorites. They also discover new games from ads and, in general, are much more receptive to ads in mobile games than they were five years ago.”

Rewarded video ads were the favourite while survey ads are increasing in popularity from 8% in 2017 to 17% in 2022 and Playables rose 9% in 2017 to 16% in 2022.

However, data privacy is still a concern with 39% never opting into data tracking on iOS, while 43% said they opted in.

What’s more, 64% of gamers are now enjoying progress bars in games that let them see how many rewards they earned.