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The game market on mobile devices is volatile. At least, that is what we always hear. The common wisdom is that ideas that worked a year ago don’t work anymore, and the ideas that work now won’t work in six months. Apparently, someone forgot to tell that to the developers of Candy Crush Saga, Clash of Clans, and Puzzle & Dragons.
For the last several months, these three have continued to rake in massive revenues on both iOS and Android, according to market-tracking firm App Annie. In April, Candy Crush Saga was once again the most-downloaded title on each platform. It also generated the third-highest revenue for each app market.
“Over the past month, we’ve seen a few trends,” App Annie vice president of global communications Marcos Sanchez told GamesBeat. “Publishers who are employing a freemium strategy attached to in-app purchases are doing incredibly well, showing a growing sophistication in how apps are monetized. Games in the casual gaming category that have a social component have also fared well, largely because they are easy to consume, have the potential to be shared on a massive scale, and can acquire new users through major social networks such as Facebook. This trend has been reinforced by many of the top ranking games on App Annie’s Games Index, including King’s Candy Crush Saga and Supercell’s Hay Day and Clash of Clans.”
Puzzle & Dragons, while not in the top 10 for monthly downloads, was the highest-grossing game on both mobile operating systems. We reported earlier this month that the hit puzzle role-playing game is making around $3.75 million every single day, which is an enormous sum.
Clash of Clans isn’t available on Google Play, but it was the second-highest grossing game on the App Store.
All three of those titles have maintained or grown their dominate market positions since the last quarter of 2012. This reveals that the mobile gaming market heavily favors the most popular games. The rich keep getting richer while everyone else fights over the scraps.
On that front, several games popped up in the most-downloaded chart for the first time (or the first time in a while).
On Google Play, the racer Toy Truck Rally 3D from developer 3dinteger moved up 288 places to take the number four place on the top games by monthly downloads list. Platformer Manuganu had an even more impressive surge. Developer Alper Sankaya’s running game moved up over 1,000 spots and was the tenth most-downloaded game on Google Play in April.
On iOS, the big movers were Sonic Dash, Hardest Game Ever 2, and Fruit Ninja. Halfbrick Studios’ Fruit Ninja is experiencing a resurgence after falling to 431 on the most-dowloaded charts. Hardest Game Ever 2 moved up 302 places from March to April, and Sonic Dash jumped from 34 all the way to number two.
The rest of the top 10 most-downloaded titles on iOS were all new games outside of King’s Candy Crush Saga and Electronic Art’s Real Racing 3. That includes fighting game Injustice: Gods Among Us from Warner Bros. and Gameloft’s Iron Man 3 – The Official Game.
It’s interesting to note that of all these games that are acquiring the most players each month, only Candy Crush Saga and Injustice also made it on the highest-grossing chart’s top 10.