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Monthly Cost Per Install (CPI) of Casual Gaming Apps More than Doubled in a Year


The mobile games market is expected to generate nearly $110bn in revenue this year and casual games will account for the lion’s share of that figure. Although these gaming apps don’t require players to put in significant effort to play and win, their revenues surged over the years. However, recent years have also witnessed a considerable increase in the monthly cost per install in the casual gaming genre.

According to data presented by Mejores Apuestas, the monthly cost per install of casual gaming apps more than doubled in the last year, reaching $3.19 in the first quarter of 2021.

CPI the Highest in the North American Market, Puzzle Apps the Most Expensive Subgenre

Since 2018, the app store downloads charts are topped by causal titles, and today, mobile games like King’s Candy Crush Saga, Coin Master, and Homescapes have hundreds of millions of users worldwide. However, reaching new users has become more and more expensive over time.

Cost per install is the rate marketers pay to bring in new users through app installations, and it’s calculated by dividing the ad spend by the number of new installs over a specific time.

The lowest CPI for the genre was in April 2020 at $1.21, revealed the Liftoff survey. By October, this figure jumped to $2.57. After a slight drop to $2.26 in November last year, the cost per install continued growing and hit $3.19 in February 2021, a 30% jump in three months.

Statistics show that between March 2020 and February 2021, the cost per install of casual gaming apps was the highest in North America, or $6.36. The Asia Pacific followed with a CPI of $1.29. The survey showed that the cost per install was the lowest in the EMEA region or $1.12, five times less than the US.

The most expensive subgenre in North America was puzzle apps, costing $6.74 per install. However, in the Asia Pacific and EMEA countries, lifestyle causal games topped the CPI list, with $2.48 and $1.58 cost per install, respectively.

iOS Gaming Apps Have Four Times Higher CPI than Android Games

The Liftoff data also showed that CPI of casual gaming apps via iOS amounted to $4.30, compared to an overall average of $1.15 for Android. The difference was most noticeable in the puzzle gaming segment, with iOS puzzle game players being four times as expensive to acquire than Android ones.

In the simulation segment, the average iOS CPI stood at $3.87, compared to $1.24 for Android. Statistics show the cost per install of lifestyle causal games in the App Store amounted to $2.96, up from $2 in the Google Play Store.


Jastra Kran

Jastra is an editor, writer, and PR specialist with years of experience in the news, research, and report writing. Over the years, she has covered different topics including gaming, the entertainment industry, and the tech market.