Interested in learning what's next for the gaming industry? Join gaming executives to discuss emerging parts of the industry this October at GamesBeat Summit Next. Learn more.
While iOS and Android still host a number of unexpected breakout hits, a number of recognizable games and sequels are moving up the charts.
Games like TwoDots, Angry Birds Epic, and Bubble Witch Saga 2 were all in the top-10 most-downloaded games on the iOS App Store in June, according to a report from industry-tracking firm App Annie. Even developer Halfbrick’s Fruit Ninja and Fish Out of Water, two games that dominated mobile charts in years past, are back in the top 10 on iOS. This is evidence that established mobile developers are adapting for the ever-changing mobile landscape, and it reveals that surprising hits like 2048 and Don’t Tap The White Tile won’t necessarily crowd out games from developers like King, Rovio, and others.
“TwoDots led the wave of new entrants that swept through the top-10 iOS games by monthly downloads in June,” reads the App Annie report. “Don’t Tap the White Tile and 2048 were the only two apps that stayed in the top 10 from May.”
TwoDots is the sequel to the incredibly popular Dots from developer Betaworks One, and its fans returned for a second round with the game. That brand recognition didn’t just help TwoDots. Rovio’s Angry Birds are back near the top of the charts with the free-to-play Angry Birds Epic action role-playing game on iOS and Android.
Angry Birds Epic debuted on June 12, and it immediately slingshotted into the top-5 games for the combined iOS and Google Play downloads chart worldwide. While Angry Birds games typically do well, some of Rovio’s other recent attempts (like kart racer Angry Birds Go) fizzled out quickly. Epic’s strong first month suggests its success may have a longer tail.
The most surprising return to form for the month of June was definitely Halfbrick and its Fruit Ninja and Fish Out of Water.
“Halfbrick leapt 43 spots and ended June 2014 as the No. 3 iOS game publisher by downloads due to the strong performance in the second half of month,” reads the report. “The Australian game studio sliced the prices for their paid games to free for a limited time, which resulted in substantial growth across their app portfolio. A couple of Halfbrick games rode the free wave all the way into the Top 10 iOS games by monthly downloads the fan-favorite Fruit
Ninja and Fish Out of Water.”
Fruit Ninja debuted way back in 2010 and Fish Out of Water is from 2013. Now that both games are back near the top of the downloads chart, that should help with their visibility on the App Store. The studio may see a boost in its sales now that the games have better discoverability.
Finally, Candy Crush Saga publisher King definitely has that new hit it was looking for. Bubble Witch Saga 2 blew up on both iOS and Android in June. A lot of that success is likely attributable to King’s strategy of downplaying mobile ad spending in favor of television advertisements. The developer is running 30-second spots for Bubble Witch Saga 2 on a number of cable and network channels, and it has Bubble Witch Saga 2 as the No. 6 most downloaded game across both the App Store and Google Play.
The performance of Bubble Witch Saga 2 has King trading up from around $16.50 in June all the way up to $20.60 today. King’s stock price even surpassed $22.50 earlier this month for the first time since its initial public offering.
GamesBeat's creed when covering the game industry is "where passion meets business." What does this mean? We want to tell you how the news matters to you -- not just as a decision-maker at a game studio, but also as a fan of games. Whether you read our articles, listen to our podcasts, or watch our videos, GamesBeat will help you learn about the industry and enjoy engaging with it. Learn more about membership.