Sensor Tower has published its Q3 2021 data collection which covers the period from July 1 to September 30, 2021.
Mobile games were the most downloaded category of apps on the App Store and Google Play.
Game downloads from the App Store reached 2.1 billion installs, down 8% year-on-year.
By comparison, game downloads from Google Play topped 11.5 billion, down 2.6% year-over-year.
Overall, the world’s most downloaded mobile game in both markets for Q3 2021 was Tencent’s PUBG Mobile, which was boosted by the release of Battlegrounds India.
PUBG Mobile downloads suffered a decline following the withdrawal of the game from the Indian application markets from Q3 2020 to Q2 2021. PUBG Mobile was last atop the global download rankings in Q4 2018.
PUBG Mobile was followed by My Talking Angela 2 from Outfit7 and Garena Free Fire from Garena. Free Fire has remained in the top five for mobile games for the past six quarters, with India being its top market.
For the App Store, Pokémon Unite was the most downloaded mobile game, despite releasing towards the end of the quarter on September 22, with 18 million downloads in nine days.
By comparison, on Google Play, the most installed game in the world released this quarter was My Talking Angela 2, which racked up around 55 million downloads.
In the United States, Pokémon Unite was the most downloaded game in both app markets, exceeding 7 million installs. Over 85% of its downloads came from the App Store, with just 15% from Google Play.
Roblox has maintained its position in the top five games in the United States since the second quarter of 2020, with the third quarter of 2021 being its best No.2 position for downloads on the App Store. This was boosted by in-game musical experiences, such as virtual concerts by KSI and Twenty One Pilots.
For Google Play, hypercasual games dominated the top ten downloads, with eight hypercasual games in the top ten. Zynga-owned Rollic Games’ Arrow Fest took top spot this quarter, with two more hypercasual Zynga games in the top 20, Hair Challenge and Queen Bee.
Garena Free Fire took Fortnite’s place as the number one mobile shooter in the United States for the third quarter of 2021, year over year.
The most downloaded game in Asia for the quarter was PUBG Mobile, which exceeded quarter-over-quarter growth in the region by more than 200%. This was spurred on by the release of Battlegrounds Mobile in India, which, while not including downloads of the game, was only up 2% quarter over quarter.
On the App Store, Harry Potter: Magic Awakened, released in China on September 9, hit nearly nine million installs for the quarter, almost as many as Honor of Kings for the entire quarter.
For Google Play, PUBG Mobile topped the charts with over 45 million downloads, including over 36 million from India. The most popular genre in Asia was the arcade, with five titles in the genre’s top 20.
This quarter marks a year since Epic Games pulled Fortnite from both markets, allowing other mobile shooters to take its place.
The game that took Fortnite’s place in the United States was Garena Free Fire, which reached third place for overall mobile gaming revenue in the country. Free Fire had the best year ever in terms of US revenue for a mobile shooter.
Garena hasn’t always performed well in the United States, with a low adoption rate since its launch in August 2017. However, the game has filled that gap with much higher download revenues, around $ 35, than the competitors of the genre, such as Call of Duty. Mobile or PUBG Mobile.
The shooter genre had three games in the top 15 for Q3 2021: Free Fire, COD Mobile, and PUBG Mobile.
Garena recently released Free Fire Max, a graphically enhanced version of Free Fire with new features at the end of Q3 2021 on September 28.