Designed to appeal to different players and age groups, word games have become a go-to pastime for millions of people all over the world. Although modern technologies such as video-gaming and on-demand television initially posed a threat to the popular hobby, the social aspect of word games remains unique and essential for many players.
Through this research article, WordsRated looks at the industry’s prominent market trends, the most popular titles and some of the key benefits that come with regular play.
- Between 2022 – 2027, global word games app market revenue is estimated to grow from $2.23 billion to $3.60 billion.
- 78.03% of global word games app revenue is generated in the United States ($1.74 billion).
- Around the world, approximately 150 million copies of Scrabble have been sold.
- After its acquisition by the New York Times in 2022, Wordle attracted an estimated tens of millions of new players to the newspaper.
- Wordscapes has a share of 22% in the global word games app market.
- Almost 1 in 2 Americans believe playing word games is a productive way to spend time.
- Improvements in cognitive test scores can be seen in people that play word games at least once per day, compared to people that never play them.
- 35% of the best performing children academically have parents that encourage them to play word games.
- Word games have been shown to have a retention rate of 29%, which is above average when compared to other game genres.
- As of 2022, the annual number of word games app downloads is 1.42 billion.
Word games market statistics
Even though word games began achieving widespread popularity in the 20th century, the market is still showing steady growth. The evolution of their availability from board games and print to digital games has ensured their popularity with current generations, enabling a range of new and updated word games to take the world by storm.
- As of 2022, global word games app market revenue was valued at $2.23 billion.
- 86.55% of this revenue ($1.93 billion) is generated through in-game advertising.
- By 2027, the total revenue is projected to increase by 61.43% to reach $3.60 billion.
A graph is given below to show the estimated global word games app revenue from 2022 – 2027:
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Popular word games
Word games come in a range of formats, including board games, print and even digital apps. Typically, the most popular word games share a common thread that helps them remain a favorite with gamers, their rules are simple ensuring a low-barrier to entry for novices. However, that doesn’t mean that word games are easy, as players can typically increase the difficulty by competing against stronger players.
- As of 2023, Wordle’s popularity is 4x larger than each of the other listed games combined.
- Although it didn’t rank for 2020 and 2021, it is also the most popular word game over the given period on average.
- Over the given period, Scrabble was the second most popular word game on the list and also ranked second for 2023.
- Quordle ranked third over the period as a whole and also for 2023.
- Interestingly, Wordle and its two variants (Quordle & Octordle) make up 3 of the top 5 highest ranked games on average over the given period.
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Benefits of word games
Playing word games regularly can provide a whole host of benefits to a person’s mental and social wellbeing. What’s more, word games can even provide benefits to players on an academic level due to their emphasis on spelling and vocabulary. Some of the most common benefits are given below:
- Fun to play: Many people play word games as a way to enjoy themselves in their free time. As a recreational activity, word games allow players to challenge themselves in single or multiplayer games according to their own preference.
- Relieve stress: Playing word games can be a great way to counter the stress we accumulate in our daily lives. Healthy competition allows players to pit their skills against one another, while also knowing that success is not of great importance compared to other aspects of their lives.
- Aid concentration: In order to play word games, players must demonstrate an ability to focus on the task at hand. As we focus on rearranging letters to form new words, our brains need to switch off from the outside world in order to find solutions to the puzzle at hand.
- Increase memory: Word games require us to use our memory to recall words from our vocabulary and to identify patterns that appear in words we need to unscramble. Additionally, players may try to remember past games to learn from their previous mistakes and imitate the best turns they have played.
- Improve spelling: Through repeated exposure to different types of words, players of word games have many opportunities to improve their spelling. As players are not able to play words that are spelled incorrectly, there is an incentive to learn the correct way to spell any word that is played.
- Expand vocabulary: People who frequently play word games are likely to see their vocabulary improve. Whether playing against a computer opponent or other humans, players are constantly able to see the words their competitor plays. From this they can learn their spelling and meaning, before remembering them for use in future turns or games.
- Heighten creativity: Word games require players to think in creative ways to come up with solutions for each turn. To solve anagrams, players need to be able to visualize different letter combinations and apply them to any spelling rules they are aware of, testing the brain in abstract ways.
- Emotional balance: As with many kinds of games, word games require players to stay clear headed in order to make the best possible moves. Continual practice can allow players to become more comfortable with their decision-making under pressure, stabilizing their emotions and improving their play.
- Social skills boost: One of the biggest appeals of word games to players is that they can be played against other human opponents. Typically, people enjoy being able to socialize over a board game, enjoying each other’s company in a comfortable and relaxing environment. This can provide players of all ages and backgrounds the perfect setting to develop their social skills.
- Self-confidence: Overall, a person’s self-confidence can be improved by combining together all of the skills people need in order to play word games. As each player becomes comfortable with the rules of the game, is able to compete against others and begins developing a winning strategy, their confidence should naturally increase.
Retention rates of word games
When compared to other types of games, word games show an above average player retention. As a result of this, players are more likely to continue playing them once they have started developing an interest in the hobby. As time passes, the mental, social and even academic rewards that result from playing word games can continue to be gained by enthusiasts.
A graph is given below to compare the retention rates of word games:
What are word games?
Word games are usually games that involve rearranging letters to create new words, in order to solve a particular word or create new high scoring words. To play word games, players must utilize their vocabulary in order to mix letters, use pattern recognition to identify common letter combinations and devise a winning strategy based upon the given rules. Although word games are typically a recreational activity, they can also be played at a competitive level in tournaments.
How to get better at word games
Often, getting better at word games is a matter of practice. Constant exposure to all types of word games with different rules and setups allows players to test their abilities in new environments. Whereas games such as Words With Friends require players to maximize their word scores through strategy, games like Boggle force players to evaluate risk vs. reward to prevent playing duplicate or unuseful words.
Players that frequently test their ability should find that their vocabulary increases steadily over time and they should be able to improve their performance. Overall, the more a person puts into developing their play, the better chance they should have of winning.