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Casual gaming is big business. It’s also an ever-changing landscape in which no market share is safe.
In April, developer King ruled the casual market on Facebook and mobile with its Candy Crush Saga. Meanwhile, former top dogs Zynga and Disney are shedding active users.
“King’s color-matching [puzzler Candy Crush Saga], which debuted last November, now holds the No. 1 ranking in all of our mobile top-grossing charts and is No. 1 by daily active users on the Facebook platform, while placing No. 2 on our Facebook top-grossing chart behind Zynga’s Farmville 2,” Cowen and Co. analyst Doug Creutz wrote in a note to investors.
Creutz notes that companies like Electronic Arts, DeNA, Gree, Supercell, and Kabam are emerging as market leaders alongside Zynga and Disney. King is the most significant competitor to those more-established industry titans.
“Zynga.com [is] shedding players fast,” said Creutz. “We estimate that the average number of players on Zynga’s homegrown gaming platform dropped by 20 percent during April and is down 33 percent since January.”
Similarly, the Cowen analyst see trouble with Disney, who doesn’t have a top-grossing mobile game in the top 20. This is a big change from when Where’s My Water? was the puzzler capturing the casual zeitgeist.
“Marvel: Avengers Alliance on the Facebook platform is Disney’s sole entry in any of our charts,” said Cruetz. “By contrast, big-media peer Warner Bros. appears to be gaining momentum by placing in the top 10 on both the iPhone and iPad charts.”
Warner Bros. fighter Injustice: Gods Among Us is currently the eighth highest-grossing app for the iPhone.