Research Outline

Popularity in Gaming (2)


To identify the most popular social and/or board games (like poker, chess, Catan, Monopoly, and Scrabble) and game genres played online (web-based or mobile) globally.

Early Findings


As there is "no strict definition of casual gaming versus core (or "hardcore") gaming", for purposes of this research, the term games (and thus gamers) will be defined as a "type of video game that doesn’t require a major time investment to play, win, and enjoy." It is important to note this distinction as it was advised in the directive to avoid video games, however 'video games' is a term used interchangeably throughout casual, hyper-casual, and hard-core gaming segmentation.

Additionally, "Casual games are found across many different game genres. Early-2000s categorizations by Big Fish Games and Gamezebo, a casual game review site, named seven popular genres in casual games." Again, for purposes of this project, focus will only be placed on the following genres within casual gaming.
  • Examples of Puzzle games: Bejeweled series, Collapse! series, Luxor series
  • Examples of Hidden Object games: Mystery Case Files series, Mortimer Beckett series, Hidden Expedition series
  • Examples of Adventure games: Dream Chronicles series, Aveyond series, Nancy Drew series
  • Examples of Strategy games (including time management): Diner Dash series, Delicious series, Cake Mania series
  • Examples of Arcade & Action games: Plants vs. Zombies, Peggle series, Feeding Frenzy series
  • Examples of Word & Trivia games: Bookworm, Bookworm Adventures series, Bonnie’s Bookstore
  • Examples of Card & Board games: Slingo Quest, Lottso! Deluxe, Luxor Mahjong


  • "Casual arcade games make up 47% of the titles downloaded on mobile."
  • The average age for casual gamers is 34 for women and 32 for men.
  • "87% of casual gamers make more than $42,000 a year."
  • "81% of casual gamers have an associate degree or higher."
  • Globally, spending on mobile games (on causal games) in 2019 was segmented as follows:
    • China — $36.54 billion
    • United States — $35.51 billion
    • Japan — $18.68 billion
    • Republic of Korea — $6.2 billion
    • Germany — $5.72 billion
    • United Kingdom — $5.35 billion
    • France — $3.88 billion
    • Canada — $2.9 billion
    • Spain — $2.58 billion
    • Italy — $2.55 billion
  • "33% of casual gamers play games because they are easy to understand."
  • "59% of players download a game within one day of discovering it."
  • 64% of players who play free games are willing to watch a video in return for lives, points, or something else of value in the game.
  • 63% of casual game players play just to pass the time.


According to Ranker, the ten most popular games in the puzzle category of casual games are (note these have been added to a sample project spreadsheet):


The time restrictions of the early findings period allowed for the above findings, but did not allow for full research of any one portion of the project ask as a whole. In the puzzle category, ten popular games have been identified but this is based on a pre-compiled ranking and not targeted research (which was not possible in the initial hour) to determine the top games by number of players.

Additionally, it is anticipated that the Total Addressable Market (TAM) will not be able to be determined on a game-by-game basis nor on a category basis as basically the TAM for the casual gaming market could be the entire population of the world because of the popularity of these types of mobile games.

If continued research is chosen, it is suggested that pre-compiled ranking be utilized for each category. If it is necessary to develop the rankings independently, the research time will be impacted greatly.