The Most Popular Mobile Game Genres of 2017

Mobile games account for a huge amount of downloads in both Apple and Android’s app stores. They are often some of the top grossing and most downloaded categories in each respective marketplace. As long as people have the time to play them, games will be a regular fixture on mobile devices. Mobile games come in many shapes and sizes. Some adhere to well-defined genres, like shooters, role-playing games, and collectable card games. Others are harder to pin down, blending and combining gameplay elements from multiple genres. If you’re looking to create your own game, it’s important to know how to position it in the marketplace, how potential users will perceive it, and how it compares to other titles on the market. Here’s a breakdown of three of the most popular mobile game genres in the industry.

Most Popular Mobile Game Genres 2017


One of the most complex games to deploy and support, “MMO” stands for Massive Multiplayer Online game. As its name suggests, these games represent a huge commitment of time from players, often reaching out to them through notifications and email alerts. Many actions within these games require hours or even days to complete. Users are encouraged to group with each other in player-formed organizations called guilds or clans, where they can pool their resources together.

Some of the most popular and profitable games in the industry are MMOs, like Clash of Clans, Lords Mobile, and Mobile Strike. Typically, these games are downloaded from the store for free, their publishers opting to charge small fees for in-game purchases that make playing the game more convenient. These microtransactions enable the game’s creators to support the ongoing development of the game, in turn adding more features and drawing more users.

MMOs are challenging to design and create without talented developers and designers. But if your title can get a foothold in this competitive market sector, it can become a very profitable venture.

Massive Multiplayer Online (MMO) Game


Those people raised in the 90s might wince when hearing the term ‘edutainment,’ but the new generation of games that educate through play are a far cry from Reader Rabbit and Math Blaster. Instead of passive games that lecture users, modern games are much more interactive and engaging. They also feature robust gamification – the act of tracking and rewarding progress of the user – which encourages deeper interaction with the software. The result is a richer experience children and young adults want to actively pursue, instead of being forced to play through the same static experience repeatedly.

But edutainment titles aren’t only for children. Apps like Duolingo and Kahn Academy heavily utilize gamification to teach languages and expand professional skill sets. These games often include quizzes, mini-games, and unlockable achievements that allow users to interact directly with the content. Some apps also allow users to direct their experience, customizing progression through course materials. Unlike older edutainment games, this new generation presents users with a dynamic and fun learning experience.

Duolingo Edutainment Game Online


Another class of popular games is known as runners or infinite runners. These games usually feature the main character moving across a procedurally generated level filled with obstacles that players try to evade. Games like Temple Run, OllieOllie, and Mario Run are all examples of successful entries in the genre. Regarding development complexity, runners can be simple 2D productions, or fully animated 3D projects, like Insane Eagles. Experienced developers will be able to deliver a game that scales to your design and meet your aesthetic requirements.

In terms of monetization, runners typically offer in-game currency that can be attained with real-world funds. In turn, this currency is used to unlock cosmetic appearance options, such as hats or outfits, or additional chances at in-game items. There are also items that can be bought known as doublers, which increase the rate at which in-game points are accumulated for a limited time. These are just a few of the microtransactions that can be used to monetize a game.

Infinite Runner Game Online


Experienced Game Developers

The most important aspect of creating a successful mobile game is working with a proven mobile developer like Zco. Our portfolio of games runs the gamut from educational titles to infinite flyers and more. Our teams of engineers, artists, and designers strive to integrate the latest device and platform advances. Clients choose us because of our position in the industry as a technology leader. If you’re considering creating a mobile game, make sure to check out our previous work, and contact one of our account executives today for a free quote on your project.