On a worldwide basis, King’s Candy Crush Saga leads the way on the Apple iOS app store in downloads, and Imangi’s Temple Run 2 is tops in the Google Play store. But when it comes to revenue, GungHo Online Entertainment’s Puzzle & Dragons has conquered all, according to March data from market research firm App Annie.
The results show the competitive market for mobile games is becoming a battle among the same players each month for the top rankings, with no clearly dominant company.
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King’s match-3 puzzle game has steadily grown in downloads on iOS since its release in September 2012. Now it is No. 1 in the most-downloaded game on iOS, and it is No. 3 on Google Play. Candy Crush Saga was No. 4 in revenue on Google Play and No. 3 in revenue on iOS. The top five grossing iOS publishers in March were unchanged from February, with Supercell (maker of Clash of Clans) and GungHo Online at the top of the charts.
GungHo’s Puzzle & Dragons, meanwhile, is No. 1 on both iOS and Google Play for the month of March in terms of most revenue. That tells you that the game, which is particularly popular in the Japanese mobile game market, has been designed for maximum monetization. (I happen to know a chief executive who admitted spending $300 in the game.) Puzzle & Dragons has generated more than 10 million downloads to date in Japan alone.
Electronic Arts had the No. 1 spot on iOS in top downloads, but it did so with a total of 984 apps on the market. On Google Play, EA was No. 3, with 107 games on the market. On iOS, EA was No. 3 in monthly game revenue and it was No. 6 in monthly game revenue on Google Play. EA’s top downloadable game on iOS was Real Racing 3 at No. 2. And EA’s top grossing apps were The Simpsons: Tapped Out at No. 5 on iOS and Real Racing 3 at No. 7 on iOS. On Google Play, EA’s The Simpsons: Tapped Out was No. 6 in monthly revenue.
Rovio, saw its place move up four spots due to the strong downloads on iOS for its Angry Birds game and The Croods. Glu Games also jumped seven spots on iOS to No. 6. Rovio was the top publisher in downloads on Google Play in March.
One of the rare new players on the charts was Fingersoft, the Finnish startup that published Hill Climb Racing. Fingersoft hit No. 4 in top downloads on Google Play thanks to its release of Benji Bananas, an “endless swinging” game.
NHN has begun to climb the charts thanks to the strong performance of games published on its Line mobile messaging network in Japan. On Google Play, Asian game publishers have posted three games on the Kakao Talk mobile messaging network in South Korea.
VB's research team is studying mobile user acquisition... Chime in here, and we’ll share the results.