Arcade Mobile Game Advertising: Tips and Statistics for 2023

Arcade Mobile Game Advertising: Tips and Statistics for 2023

by Andrea Knezovic

Ready to become the master of arcade mobile game advertising?

In this guide you’ll learn:

  • What are the top arcade mobile games and publishers
  • How to acquire users for an arcade mobile game
  • What makes a great ad (with ad examples from top arcade games)
  • Arcade mobile game statistics (user retention, average session length, stickiness, ARPPU, ARPDAU, conversions, CPIs by country)

Top 10 Arcade Mobile Games

Google Play

These are the top-grossing free arcade games on Google Play Store. (SensorTower, free data)

  1. Minecraft (Mojang)
  2. Clawee (Gigantic)
  3. Cooking Madness (ZenLife Games)
  4. Angry Birds Friends (Rovio)
  5. Cubes Empire Champions (Ilyon)
  6. Galaxy Attack: Alien Shooter (OneSoft Global)
  7. Bricks Ball Crusher (PoseidonGames)
  8. Battleships (Alex Bimark)
  9. 1945 Air Force (OneSoft)
  10. Cookie Run: OvenBreak (Devsisters Corporation

mobile game advertising tips 2020

Arcade Mobile Game Advertising: Tips for Acquiring More Users in 2022


Let’s get down to practical advice – how do you get more users for your arcade game?

Here are some tips you should try.

mobile game ads split testing ab

Analyze and Test Everything Before Setting Up Your User Acquisition Campaign

Before you even start advertising your arcade mobile game, it’s crucial that you analyze the market and test everything.

And by everything, I mean everything – game mechanics, UX/UI design, icons, monetization methods, advertising strategies, creatives, ad copy, etc.

Here’s why.

There’s a lot that goes into creating a successful arcade game – it’s not about simply making a fun game and hoping for the best.

Do you know why the most popular mobile games have so many users?

Before the game is made, thorough market research is done to identify key elements of a successful game. Once the game is made, it is put through extensive testing before the launch. The goal is to optimize them in order to attract the maximum number of users.

For example, there are different market intelligence tools that can give you insight into which mobile game genres bring the highest ROI.

It doesn’t stop there.

You should also analyze the features that make competitor’s games so successful, the best ways to monetize, as well as the biggest trends in arcade gaming.

gamerefinery icon analysis mobile game test

Mobile game publishers even go so far as to analyze the icon they use. Tools like GameRefinery allow you to do just that. You can get data on how good your icon is, compared to icons of other games – everything from shapes and art style to color groups.

During soft launch, everything is tested in order to measure how well the users respond to the game and more tweaks are made. Only after you go through this process can you develop a data-driven user acquisition strategy that has a chance of working.

But don’t think you’re done with testing. You constantly need to split test all of your arcade mobile game advertising strategies and creatives you use in order to get the best results.

Showcase the Game Experience with Video Ads

There’s no better way to advertise an arcade mobile game than by using video ads. It’s a true and tried user acquisition method.

The reason for that is simple – video ads allow you to showcase the game experience and give users a taste of the gameplay.

The best way to utilize video ads is through Google Universal App Campaigns and Facebook App Ads. Both help you get more game installs or in-app actions.

When using Universal App Campaigns, you upload different assets, set a daily budget, target CPI, location, and languages. Then Google creates different versions of ads across different ad networks.

For example, the system “learns” if one variation of the video or text performs better and shows it more often. What’s important is to test as many different videos and other assets in order to get maximum results out of UAC.

You can also choose the objective of the campaign – install volume or in-app purchases. This depends on your arcade mobile game advertising strategy.

Facebook App Ads can also be optimized for installs and app events. Again, it’s crucial to test all of your assets and track the performance of the campaign.

google universal app campaign screenshot

Advertise on Multiple Ad Networks and Scale Up Fast

Here’s what Mihovil Grguric, mobile game advertising expert and CEO of Udonis has to say about marketing an arcade game:

“Arcade is definitely one of the most popular categories on the app stores. It’s a mass-market category flooded with casual and hyper-casual games.

By being aware that this is a mass-market category we know that almost every person from 13 to 65, both male and female, is a potential user. You can acquire users for arcade games on every ad network out there.

That makes the UA strategy for this category simple; Test a TON of video ads, filter out your attention-grabbing winners and expand your media buying ops into as many ad networks as your budget allows.

Scale-up as fast as possible once the model starts backing out. This is how we do it, this is how big players in the market do it, and it works, if the game is sticky!”

arcade mobile game ad examples from top games

Arcade Mobile Game Advertising: 3 Examples from Top Games

The best way to learn how to advertise an arcade mobile game is to study what top publishers are doing.

In this section, I’m going to break down ads from top arcade games and explain what makes them so effective.


Subway Surfers

Ad Breakdown

Platforms: Instagram

Duration: 00:54

This video ad is full of action. It starts with an exciting chase which is what makes users keep watching and wonder what’s going to happen next.

Then the ad showcases the gameplay, which includes collecting coins and avoiding obstacles. It’s important to include the actual gameplay in the ad because that gives players a taste of the game.

Subway Surfers video ad also focuses on the game characters, which is another great technique of getting users interested. We meet Jasmine who’s the focal point of this ad.

The personalization feature is highlighted and we’re shown outfit changes for Jasmine. Players are big on being able to personalize characters so showing that aspect of the game is smart.

The culmination of this video ad is when Jasmine gets caught. Then a gang of other surfers saves her and she escapes.

What’s interesting is that this ad is much longer than typical mobile game ads which are usually 15 to 30 seconds long. In general, shorter ads seem to work better, but this is a good example of a longer ad that’s packed full of adventure and action.

subway surfers arcade mobile game

Ad Copy Analysis

Here is an example of a Subway Surfers ad copy:

The Subway Surfers World Tour is in Cairo! 🌍🏃‍♀️🏃 Join Jasmine and the rest of the #SubwaySurfers crew in Cairo.

Grab your Magic Carpet and let’s go:
– Discover beautiful grand statues and mythical temples!
– Unlock awesome outfits and boards!
– Complete the Weekly Hunt!

What are you waiting for? Download the newest update now! #SubwaySurfersCairo 🐪🌴

This copy does a good job of presenting the new game update. It showcases all the main game features, characters, and game content.

When writing a copy for game video ads, think of your unique selling point (USP) i.e. what makes your arcade game special and better than others?

Finish the copy with a strong call to action. In this case, it’s “What are you waiting for? Download the newest update now!”

Subway Surfers ad copy also includes a unique hashtag – #SubwaySurfersCairo – which is a good strategy for spreading the word on social media.

Bricks Ball Crusher

Ad Breakdown

Platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, Audience Network

Duration: 00:18

Brick Ball Crusher ads took a different approach.

The first thing you see is a video of a person cutting colorful soap.

You might wonder what’s the purpose of that?

Simple – to grab your attention and lure you in.

Who doesn’t like a good soap carving video? It’s strangely satisfying!

Then the video moves on to actual gameplay, which is quite straightforward and simple. You need to shoot balls in order to break all the bricks.

Not only is this game very relaxing (which is the feeling you get while watching the ad) but it’s very addictive as well.

This Bricks Ball Crusher video ad is a good example of smart music choices.

First of all, it’s a famous Dr. Dre and Snoop Dog song pretty much everybody knows.

But also, this song will be particularly familiar to you if you follow meme culture (in particular, thug life videos).

What Bricks Ball Crusher marketing team does very well is taking different moments from pop culture and viral content, and utilizing it in the ads.

Ad Copy Analysis

  • 🔥Why is this game so fun??!?! 😂😂 🎮Play Now 👏👏
  • Only 1% can clear all😎

Just like the game itself, Bricks Ball Crusher ad texts are also very simple and to the point.

Since there’s no intricate stories, characters, and new worlds to explore in this game, the ad copy is focused on delivering a simple message – this game is just fun and you should play it.

Another technique is challenging the players (Only 1% can clear all), which is quite common when it comes to mobile game ads.

minecraft mobile game


Did you know that Minecraft was downloaded more than 10 million times, just on Google Play alone? That’s huge for a paid mobile game.

So why is Minecraft so successful?

Well, we have to acknowledge that Minecraft didn’t start as a mobile game. Minecraft is the best-selling video game of all times and that plays a big role. Many video games that become successful as platform games and then come to mobile have it easier than others.

Just look at Call of Duty – because it was such a famous game already, gamers were ready to jump on the mobile version right away. It has one of the most successful mobile releases ever.

However, while it’s true that the overall popularity and recognition has helped the mobile edition of Minecraft, advertising still plays a big role in the success of this arcade game. Minecraft is definitely not as popular now as it was a few years ago.

So even though this is truly an awesome game, it still needs to be marketed the right way, especially since it’s a paid mobile game ($6.99).

Let’s look at an example of Minecraft mobile ads and dissect what kind of advertising techniques Mojang uses.

Ad Breakdown

If you take a look at the Minecraft video ad above, the first thing you’ll notice is the exciting and suspenseful music that demands attention. The two characters stand ready for battle.

Then the ad goes into a quick gameplay overview, which is important for a game like Minecraft. Since there are so many possibilities in the game, it’s only logical to showcase them.

On the mobile screen, you can see “explore”, “fight”, and “survive”, which are the main gameplay aspects.

The last scene is a call to action, which is intended to make users download and play Minecraft.

This 15-second ad is simple, to the point and delivers the main message – Minecraft is a versatile mobile game that allows gamers to play it in many different ways.

minecraft arcade game ad example

In this ad, Minecraft’s USP is highlighted. What makes this mobile game different from all others is the ability to create your own world and show your creativity. That’s the main reason why this game is so successful and attracts a wide variety of gamers.

Ad Copy Analysis

Here are a couple of ad copy examples from Minecraft:

  • Idea too crazy? Too kooky? Nah! If you dream it you can build it with Minecraft!
  • Everyone is capable of crafting something amazing in Minecraft. Get Inspired!
  • ☑️ Milk a cow ☑️ Get an egg ☑️ Grow wheat ☑️ Harvest sugar Worth it. Make it your own in Minecraft on mobile.
  • Reimagine Minecraft from top to bottom, with new skins, new textures, and vast handmade worlds!
  • No need to go alone! Share the adventure with friends!

The majority of Minecraft advertising highlights the creative aspect of this game. Players can get really imaginative and build their perfect world. It’s all about personalization. The possibilities are endless and that is clear in every ad copy.

So when writing an ad copy for an arcade mobile game, think about what makes that particular game special. What are the main features that will hook the players? What makes playing it so fun?

For example, in the copy, “No need to go alone! Share the adventure with friends!”, emphasize the multiplayer option Minecraft has.

Essential Arcade Mobile Game Statistics You Need to Know in 2022

Now you know how to advertise an arcade mobile game. But how do you know whether your marketing efforts are working?

Simple: by tracking and analyzing key mobile game metrics.

In this section, you’re going to learn about the most important statistics regarding different arcade mobile game metrics.

The statistics include:

  • User retention
  • Average session length
  • Stickiness
  • Conversions
  • CPIs by country

These arcade mobile game statistics will allow you to assess the current performance of your game, as well as help optimize your marketing strategy to improve results.

Data source: GameAnalytics

Arcade Mobile Game User Retention Statistics

User retention is perhaps the most important mobile game metric – it shows you how many users keep playing. It’s most commonly measured after day 1, day 7, and day 28.

It’s one thing to get many users to install your game, but it’s much harder to keep them interested in the game over a longer period of time.

User retention is influenced by a couple of different factors like the quality of your arcade game, game mechanics, the overall user experience, etc.

How to Improve User Retention for Arcade Mobile Games?

Here are some user retention strategies for arcade games you should try.

  • Create a challenge for the users – make the game increasingly difficult in order to keep players interested
  • Remind users to continue playing by using push notifications
  • Add new game content on a regular basis
  • Create an incentive to return by offering users in-game rewards
  • Encourage user-generated content
  • Create an online community around your arcade game

Now let’s take a look at some user retention statistics.

day 1 user retention statistics for arcade games in 2021

Day 1 Retention Statistics for Arcade Mobile Games

Day 1 retention is a crucial KPI that shows you how many players come back after the first day. This data will show the true potential of your game.

As a general rule, 35% and higher day-1 retention is considered to be good for most publishers. Genres that have the highest day-1 retention are trivia, word, card, and board (an average of 40%).

Day 1 retention for the top 2% of arcade games was about 46% on average. It peaked in February 2020 (48.33%) and was the lowest in November (44.49%). 

For the top 25% of games in the arcade genre, day 1 retention ranged from 31.29% in November to 33.39% in January. It was the highest in the first four months of 2020. 

Day 1 retention for the median 50% of games was also the highest January through April, compared to the rest of the year. It peaked in January (25.43%) and was the lowest in November (23.74%).

The bottom 25% of arcade games retained much less players after the first day – an average of 16%. The retention was quite stable during the first six months, then it started slightly dropping, going as low as 14.89% in November. 

If your arcade game has low day-1 retention, that means you should go back to the drawing board and make some big changes. It’s essential to be data-driven and optimize your game accordingly.

Some publishers even go so far as giving up on games with retention of less than 35%. Even though that’s a hard decision to make, it sometimes doesn’t make sense to keep wasting valuable time and money on a game that shows no potential for growth.

day 7 user retention statistics for arcade games in 2021

Day 7 Retention Statistics for Arcade Mobile Games

So your day-1 retention looks good – your game shows potential. The next metric you need to follow is day-7 user retention.

As you might guess, this KPI gives you important insight into how many users keep playing after seven days.

Classic game genres like word, card, and casino are once again in the lead. Top games in these genres achieve up to 18% retention. Day-7 retention seems to drop for all genres during the holidays, so make sure you engage players during those time periods.

Day 7 retention for the top 2% of arcade games was the highest in January (19.62%) and February (19.61%). It was the lowest in April (17.83%) and May (17.92%). After that, it started picking up again. 

For the top 25% of games in the arcade genre, the beginning of 2020 had peak day 7 retention as well, after which it dropped, but not much. If we look at 2020 as a whole, day 7 retention ranged from 7.71% to 8.67%. 

The median 50% of games retained fewer players than the top 25% of games after one week. More specifically, between 4.68% and 5.41%. 

For the bottom 25% of arcade games, day 7 retention was quite low – between 1.98% and 2.38%. 

day 28 user retention statistics for arcade games in 2021

Day 28 Retention Statistics for Arcade Mobile Games

This is the hard one – getting users to keep playing after 28 days. Only the most loyal and the most engaged players will remain.

It’s normal to see a substantial drop, and all developers expect it, so don’t get freaked out. For most genres, 4% or more is good (for classic genres it’s 8% or more).

However, do whatever you can to keep players interested in the game, whether it’s by providing them with new content or rewarding them for coming back.

Day 28 for the top 2% of arcade games was, naturally, lower than day 1 or day 7 retention. In 2020, it was between 8.98% in June and 10.29% in January. 

When compared to the top 2% games, day 28 retention for the top 25% of arcade games was significantly lower. In 2020, it was between 2.29% (September) and 2.63% (February). 

Between 1.09% and 1.35% of users came back to the median 50% of arcade games after 28 days of playing. 

Day 28 retention for the bottom 25% of arcade games was very low – between 0.01% (August) and 0.11% (December). These games barely retained any players after one month.

That shows you how hard it is to get a good day-28 retention rate. The market is crowded and the time people are willing to spend on a single game is getting shorter. Acquiring loyal players has never been more challenging.

average session length statistics for arcade games in 2021

Arcade Mobile Games Average Session Length Statistics

User retention is not the only metric you should follow – you need to track average session length as well.

If a user plays your game for 15 seconds, it means something is wrong. It may be that your game crashes, it’s not engaging enough, or perhaps there are too many ads that hinder user experience.

In any case, your game needs improvement.

Let’s look at some average session statistics.

As we have seen with user retention, classic mobile game genres perform best and have the highest average session length. For example, players spend up to 22 minutes playing casino and card games.

With arcade games, the situation is a bit different.

Sessions for the top 2% of arcade games in 2020 lasted for a very long time – between 27 minutes and 27 seconds and 30 minutes and 49 seconds. 

The average session length for the top 25% of arcade games was also shorter at the beginning of 2020 and longer towards the end of the year. More specifically, the shortest ASL was in January, February, and March. The highest was in October, November, and December, peaking at 4 minutes and 57 seconds. 

Similarly, ASL for media arcade games was the lowest in February (3 minutes and 4 seconds). It picked up during the second half of 2020, reaching 3 minutes and 18 seconds. 

Session length for the bottom 25% of games in the arcade genre was between 2 minutes and 15 seconds and 2 minutes and 27 seconds in 2020. What’s interesting is that it increased in the second half of 2020. 

So if you want to make your arcade mobile games successful, you need to put a lot of effort into improving user experience and keeping players engaged. One way of doing that is by rewarding players who play for a longer period of time.

arppu statistics for arcade games in 2021

Arcade Mobile Games ARPPU Statistics

ARPPU stands for average revenue per paying user. This is an important metric because it shows you how much users spend on in-app purchases.

In order to successfully monetize your game, you need to work on getting these numbers up.

Now let’s take a look at some ARPPU statistics for arcade games.

It’s not surprising that the top 2% of arcade games earned a lot in 2020. ARPPU was between $79.98 and $97.26 in 2020. 

However, ARPPU for the top 25% was significantly lower – between $7.24 and $8.29. 

For the median 50% of games, ARPPU peaked in February ($3.85). 

The bottom 25% of games had a pretty stable ARPPU throughout 2020, ranging from $2.90 to $2.99.

How to Encourage Players to Spend more?

  • Make sure your arcade game is superb – no player will spend money on a game that’s not worth playing
  • Focus on retaining players – most in-app purchases don’t happen on the first day of playing
  • Utilize push notifications – but don’t be too pushy, otherwise you’ll get the opposite effect
  • Set up the pricing for in-app purchases wisely – make sure there’s a range of prices for each demographic

arpdau statistics for arcade games in 2021

Arcade Mobile Games ARPDAU Statistics

ARPDAU refers to average revenue per daily active user. So this number shows you how much you earn from a user in a single day.

Just like ARPPU, ARPDAU is steadily dropping each year.

Role-playing and simulation games have significantly higher ARPDAU from any other game genre (going up to $0.30).

ARPDAU is a metric that tells us what’s the average revenue generated from an average active user.

For the top 2% of games, it peaked later in the year. To be specific, in October, when it reached $0.60. 

Average revenue per daily active user for the top 25% of arcade games wasn’t nearly as high – about $0.01 throughout the year. 

The median 50% of games earned between $0.002 and $0.003 per daily active user in 2020, while the bottom 25% of arcade games earned between $0.0005 and $0.0009, which is really low.

conversion statistics for arcade games in 2021

Arcade Mobile Games Conversion Statistics

So how many users make a purchase?

Mobile game conversion statistics reveal just that.

Conversion rates are dropping every year for all game categories. On average, games convert about 0.3% of players. Again, role-playing and simulation games convert the most users – up to 1.6%.

Most genres should aim for a 0.5% conversion rate.

Conversion rate for the top 2% of arcade games peaked April (5.84%). After that, it declined and stayed lower in the second half of 2020. 

The top 25% of games converted the largest number of players in May and June (0.32%). Overall, conversion rates for these games were very steady throughout the year.

Conversion rates for the median 50% of games were also very uniform in 2020, ranging from 0.08% to 0.11%. 

What’s interesting is that the conversion rate for the bottom 25% of arcade games was 0.03% in the first six months of 2020 and 0.02% in the second half of the year. 

Average Mobile Game CPIs in Tier 1 Countries

Last but not least, here are the average cost per installs in tier 1 countries.

  • Australia: $1.54 (iOS), $0.58 (Google Play)
  • Austria: $1.47 (iOS), $0.39 (Google Play)
  • Belgium: $0.98 (iOS), $0.26 (Google Play)
  • Canada: $1.79 (iOS), $0.66 (Google Play)
  • Denmark: $0.87 (iOS), $0.44 (Google Play)
  • Finland: $1.10 (iOS), $0.18 (Google Play)
  • France: $0.75 (iOS), $0.36 (Google Play)
  • Germany: $1.20 (iOS), $0.52 (Google Play)
  • Ireland: $0.53 (iOS), $0.26 (Google Play)
  • Italy: $0.59 (iOS), $0.18 (Google Play)
  • Luxembourg: $0.71 (iOS), $0.14 (Google Play)
  • Netherlands: $0.90 (iOS), $0.26 (Google Play)
  • New Zealand: $1.98 (iOS), $.50 (Google Play)
  • Norway: $0.97 (iOS), $0.36 (Google Play)
  • Spain: $0.67 (iOS), $0.15 (Google Play)
  • Sweden: $1.21 (iOS), $0.35 (Google Play)
  • Switzerland: $1.48 (iOS), $0.49 (Google Play)
  • United Kingdom: $1.25 (iOS), $0.68 (Google Play)
  • United States of America: $1.93 (iOS), $0.97 (Google Play)

Data Source: Chartboost

Final Thoughts on Arcade Mobile Game Advertising

What do you think is the hardest part of arcade mobile game advertising?

Do you need any help?

Let me know in the comments below!

To get more updates on mobile game advertising, make sure to subscribe to our newsletter.


About Udonis

Udonis is an independent full-service mobile marketing agency that acquired more than 200,000,000 users for mobile games since 2018.

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