The App Annie Index for Games offers the hottest mobile game properties for both the iOS App Store and Google Play. To find out what’s happening in apps outside of games, please check out our April 2014 Index for Apps.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
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Supercell launched Boom Beach worldwide in late March 2014, and in April the game reached the top five iOS games by monthly downloads and revenue. This put three Supercell titles -- Clash of Clans, Boom Beach and Hay Day -- in the Top 10 games by iOS revenue. King also has three games in the Top 10 -- Candy Crush Saga, Farm Heroes Saga and Pet Rescue Saga -- giving these two publishers a strong grip on the top of the iOS revenue charts. However, Supercell’s three hit games were enough to keep it at the #1 rank for iOS publishers by monthly game revenue. Combined iOS and Google Play revenue rankings also reveal Supercell as the leading publisher by overall app store revenue in April.
Boom Beach featured extensively on the iOS App Store homepage and proved to be a big hit in downloads and reviews worldwide. At the start of April, Boom Beach was the #1 ranked game in 23 countries simultaneously, reaching the top rank for games in the majority of countries where it’s available. This popularity translated into revenue success, with the title hitting the top ranks in major markets such as the United States and China throughout April. Despite only being available for iOS, Boom Beach’s revenue in April was enough to reach #9 for combined monthly iOS and Google Play game revenue.
The March Index for Games saw viral hit 2048 climb into the Top 10 games by monthly iOS downloads. In April, its popularity continued, pushing it up to the #1 position. The numeric puzzle game remained in the top ranks in the
United States, China and Italy throughout April. The downloads accumulated by 2048 were sufficient to move its publisher Ketchapp Studio to the #3 rank for publishers by monthly iOS game downloads.
Ketchapp Studio’s 2048 is an iOS-only title, leaving a void on Google Play that was filled by 2048 Number Puzzle from publisher Estoty. The game features very similar gameplay to 2048 by Ketchapp Studio, and reached #4 by monthly Google Play game downloads.
Supercell, King and GungHo Online have held the top three spots for publishers by monthly iOS game revenue since April 2013. However, in April 2014, Tencent’s iOS game revenue surpassed that of GungHo Online, bringing it into the top three publishers.
Tencent has been extremely successful in growing the social gaming market in China by combining casual games with its WeChat platform. In April, Thunder Fighter (雷霆战机) continued to drive growth in both downloads and revenue for Tencent, joining the Top 10 iOS games by monthly revenue and the top five iOS games by monthly downloads.
Platform-exclusive games have received considerable media attention recently. Cut the Rope 2 was a notable title to receive a period of exclusivity on iOS, but the international version finally landed on Google Play in late March (following the Korean version in early March). While the international version on iOS is a paid download with in-app purchase options, the Google Play version uses a freemium monetization model, marking a transition from the remainder of the franchise. ZeptoLab had the following to say about the new release:
"Cut the Rope 2 still has its core mechanics and feel, but it’s reaching a new level of engaging gameplay among our users. We at ZeptoLab strongly believe that a game with ‘2’ in the title has to be something bigger, more than just the same old thing. Cut the Rope 2 is the fastest-growing ZeptoLab game ever, which makes us think that we’ve managed to achieve this goal. Our close connection with our community, plus our ability to quickly analyze and react to market trends helped us craft a game our users love." - Маx Petrov, Chief Product & Data Officer
After featuring on the Google Play home page in many countries, downloads of Cut the Rope 2 pushed publisher ZeptoLab into the Top 10 publishers by monthly Google Play game downloads. The game itself also reached the top three games by monthly downloads on Google Play, performing strongly in the United States and Russia. Prior to the release of Cut the Rope 2 on Google Play, ZeptoLab announced that the franchise surpassed 500 million downloads worldwide. This figure is likely to grow further as ZeptoLab partners with Yodo1 to bring Cut the Rope 2 to KakaoTalk in the near future.
Mixi Strikes It Big with Monster Strike
Japanese publisher Mixi reached #10 by monthly Google Play game revenue in April. Mixi was once Japan’s largest social network, but faced increasing competition in recent years. As a result, the company began developing games in-house. One of those games, Monster Strike (モンスターストライク), is now a big hit in Japan. The title has been rising in the revenue ranks throughout this year, and in April landed at #7 by combined iOS and Google Play monthly game revenue. Mixi’s Hiroki Morita had the following to say about this development:
"The number of Japanese ‘Monster Strike’ players has surpassed 7 million since its release in October 2013. We are all very excited about the fact that so many users are playing this title. We also launched the title in Taiwan on May 14 and plan to launch in China, Hong Kong and Macau to accelerate our global business expansion. We aren’t just targeting Japanese players -- we will continue to create fun and innovative hit game apps worldwide." - Hiroki Morita, Executive Officer & Executive Producer of Monster Strike Studio
Zynga Joins the Agricultural Gaming Revolution
The January Index for Games noted the resurgence of casual farm-themed games. In April, Zynga brought its popular Farmville fr
anchise back to mobile devices. Farmville has 400 million web players, and Zynga incorporated this user base in its redesigned experience by allowing the transfer of valuable goods between web and mobile versions. Farmville 2: Country Escape launched worldwide in mid-April on iOS and Google Play, and saw global success. The game featured extensively on the iOS App Store home page in late April, and returned Zynga to the Top 10 iOS game publishers by monthly downloads for the first time since June 2013.
Recent Releases Climbing the Charts
A number of other new or recently released games made a big impact in April. Ubisoft released Trials Frontier worldwide for iOS in early April, following a March soft release in Canada and Finland. The arcade take on motorbike trials was released as a mobile companion game for its PC and console title Trials Fusion. Trials Frontier featured extensively on the iOS App Store home page in April, and received more than 20,000 five-star reviews during the month. After performing well in China and the United States, the game reached #3 by monthly iOS game downloads and propelled Ubisoft into the Top 10 publishers.
Another iOS-exclusive title to reach the Top 10 games by monthly downloads in April was Tactile Entertainment’s endless scroller Skyline Skaters. The game saw its full release at the start of April, following an earlier soft release in Germany. Like Trials Frontier, Skyline Skaters featured on the iOS App Store home page in a number of countries throughout April.
Don’t Tap the White Tile (now known as Piano Tiles on iOS) was released in late March, and mirrors many of the gameplay features of Don’t Step the White Tile. Don’t Step the White Tile was released in late 2013, but didn’t gain traction in markets such as the United States until it went viral in March 2014. Like the Flappy Bird phenomenon of February, Don’t Tap the White Tile showed the value of identifying rising trends in the app store. It reached the #2 rank for iOS games by monthly downloads after a strong performance in China and the United States, and brought publisher Umoni Studio into the Top 10 by monthly iOS game downloads.
On Google Play, Tennis 3D was a late March release that climbed into the Top 10 games by monthly downloads in April. While it performed relatively well in emerging Google Play markets such as Brazil, Mexico and Russia, it was particularly popular in Spain.
GAMEVIL Gains Outside South Korea
Korean publisher GAMEVIL made notable gains in the March Index for Games in South Korea with the release of Dragon Blaze (별이되어라!) for Kakao, and continued to gain in the publisher rankings for monthly Google Play game revenue in April. However, this time major gains were also made outside South Korea. This rise was largely driven by fishing simulator Ace Fishing: Wild Catch, which performed particularly strongly in Hong Kong after its worldwide release in late March.
For those of you who also are looking for an update on top apps other than games, please check out the April 2014 Index for Apps. To keep up to date with all the changes at the top of the app and publisher charts, check out the complete set of App Annie Index tables.
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- The publisher and app rankings reported in the App Annie Index are based on the download and revenue estimates available through App Annie Intelligence. The daily rank history charts and the home page feature app data are
available to all users through App Annie’s app tracker solution, Store Stats.
- While the Index for Games covers games, the Index for Apps provides app tracking on everything but games. Note that the Top Company rankings in the Index for Games are based solely on the publishers’ games downloads and revenue, while the Top Company rankings in the Index for Apps are based on the company’s downloads and revenue from apps excluding games.
- Through September 2013, similar versions of the same app with different names (e.g., NYTimes and NYTimes for iPad) were ranked separately. Effective with October data, similar versions of the same app with different names are unified (e.g., NYTimes and NYTimes for iPad are now aggregated and ranked as a single NYTimes unified app).
- Company and unified app rankings in the App Annie Index for Games and Index for Apps are based on individual apps that ranked in the Top 1,000.
- In the first month in which an app becomes unified, its rank change in the Index will compare the unified app that month vs. its highest-ranking individual app in the month prior. As a result, rank changes for newly unified apps may overstate ranking increases from March 2014 to April 2014.
- In the iOS App Store, an app can be categorized under a Primary Category as well as an optional Secondary Category. If an app has a Primary Category of Games and a Secondary Category of Entertainment, it is a candidate to be included in this Index for Games. If the app’s Primary Category is Entertainment and its Secondary Category is Games, then it will not be included in this Index for Games; it is a candidate for the Index for Apps.
- Note that the ranking approach used in the App Annie Index differs from that used in the iOS App Store. In the latter, app rankings for a given category will include all apps whose Primary Category or Secondary Category matches that given category. So an app can appear in the rankings for more than one category within the iOS App Store or in App Annie Store Stats rankings.
- In Google Play, an app can be categorized under only one category, so there is no double-categorization.
- Occasionally, a publisher may decide to shift an existing app from one category to another category. In these cases, the App Annie Index will rank that app based on its categorization in the subsequent month. Given that the App Annie Index has a Games report and an Apps report, the only scenario where an app’s recategorization could shift it from one Index to another is if its category changes from Games to a category other than Games or vice versa.
- In the App Annie Index, all apps and publishers are reported under their parent companies, where available; for example, the Plants vs. Zombies™ 2 app is reported under its parent company Electronic Arts, rather than its direct publisher PopCap. Note that if you view the Electronic Arts parent company page on Store Stats, you will see the publishers that roll under the parent company Electronic Arts, including PopCap. The Plants vs. Zombies™ 2 app will be listed under the PopCap publisher page.
- App Annie Index revenue rankings are based on revenue that the iOS App Store and Google Play earned from paid downloads and in-app purchases. They do not include revenue earned from in-app advertising.
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