Mobile intelligence providers such as Apptopia almost always make our top charts about rank, downloads, or IAP revenue. Every now and then, I dip my toe into something different, like top apps by user retention percentage. It’s not as sexy as other stats, but I like to believe the hardcore mobile industry junkies enjoyed it.
Given that thought, I wanted to have some fun, so I created a top list by average daily active users for the latest quarter. Yes, that’s my kind of party. Please do let me know if you like seeing this type of information and we’ll continue to do it for future quarters. As always, this data does not include third party Android stores like those commonly found in parts of Asia (but mostly China).
OK, so when we look at top grossing charts we see a lot of games like Candy Crush Saga and Clash of Clans and when we look at top download charts, it’s more along the lines of hyper-casual games. The cool thing about this chart is that we have a mix of both.
There’s a good spread here, too, as Outfit Limited 7 is the only publisher to appear more than once on the worldwide list, with its games My Talking Tom and My Talking Angela. The publisher does not have any games appear in the U.S. chart. On the U.S. chart, Voodoo is the only publisher to appear more than once, with games Helix Jump and Hole.io. Reminder that we listed Helix Jump as the most downloaded game of 2018 with 334 million.
Here’s something crazy — for all the Fortnite and PUBG Mobile hysteria, there is only one battle royale game on this list … and it’s one that probably half of you have never heard of. Garena Free Fire — Winterlands had a strong Q4 as it pertains to active players. Yes, Fortnite, PUBG Mobile and Knives Out are downloaded more and make more money. The most interesting part of of Free Fire’s success is that more than a quarter (26 percent) of its DAUs hail from Brazil. That South American nation is a rapidly growing market that I hear from in other app categories, but not often in Games.
As I study the chart further, I see King’s latest game, Candy Crush Friends Saga, appears to be doing much better in the states than globally. Having said that, its flagship game, Candy Crush Saga, is still going strong with 15.6 million daily active users across the globe. The U.S. is King’s biggest market, so this is a case of cannibalization, where U.S. players are trying the new shiny toy.
A game I want to specifically call out is Sniper 3D Assassin, published by Fun Games For Free. I can no longer ignore it. I have never played this game (shame on me), but for the past couple of years, it has appeared on almost every top games chart I make, regardless of performance metric. It has high user retention, boatloads of new installs, and high DAU as we now know. While it likely won’t show up as a top 10 IAP generator, it’s no slouch bringing in $16.6 million in IAP revenue this past quarter.
That’s all I have on this but I’m sure you can point out many more learnings through your own analysis. Tweet me @AdamBlacker25 with any questions and/or comments.
Adam Blacker is the VP of mobile research at Apptopia, where he creates content based on his findings within Apptopia data.