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App Annie Index for Japan: Games - The bottom LINE is Puzzles, Dragons and Baseball

App Annie

This App Annie Games Index brings you the hottest mobile gaming properties across both the iOS App Store and Google Play for Japan in May 2013. Japan is a special app marketplace in that the tops of the charts are dominated by apps from domestic publishers. Few foreign publishers have succeeded in breaking into what has long been regarded as one of the most lucrative games markets in the world.Of the 24 unique games covered in this Japan report, only three of them are published by foreign companies.

The top-ranking games for May 2013 in Japan were dominated by the Puzzle, Arcade, and Action categories. Particularly successful titles included:

  • GungHo Online’s Puzzle & Dragons, as it continued its phenomenal run as the top-grossing game in Japan across both stores
  • Endless running game LINE WIND runner, which made the top 3 by downloads and revenue across both iOS and Google Play
  • Match-three puzzle game LINE JELLY, a top 3 game by downloads in both stores
  • COLOPL’s プロ野球PRIDE (Pro Baseball PRIDE), a professional baseball card collection game that was among the top 3 grossing games on both iOS and Google Play
  • SEGA’s ぷよぷよ!!クエスト (Puyo Puyo!! Quest), a combination puzzle/role-playing game that became the most-downloaded iOS game in May 2013

 

Top Game Apps by Monthly Downloads in Japan iOS May 2013
Game Rank Change vs. April 2013 Publisher Headquarters Game Subcategory
1 ぷよぷよ!!クエスト (Puyo Puyo!! Quest) 4 SEGA Japan Puzzle, Role Playing
2 LINE JELLY 1 LINE Japan Puzzle, Action
3 LINE WIND runner - LINE Japan Action, Adventure
4 Megapolis 12 Social Quantum Russia Simulation, Strategy
5 Puzzle & Dragons 1 GungHo Online Japan Role Playing, Puzzle
6 クイズRPG 魔法使いと 黒猫のウィズ ((Quiz RPG) Wizard and Wiz the Black Cat) 32 COLOPL Japan Role Playing, Adventure
7 LINE Bubble! 3 LINE Japan Puzzle, Action
8 Iron Man 3 - The Official Game 26 Gameloft France Arcade, Action
9 マスター オブ カオス (Master of Chaos) N/A* Koramgame China Action, Role Playing
10 一瞬のスキマ! (Flash Interspace) N/A* COLOPL Japan Arcade, Action
SOURCE: App Annie Index ™

  * Master of Chaos and Flash Interspace were released in May 2013, so they had no Rank Change vs. April 2013.

The top-downloaded iOS games in Japan was the only chart in May that was not 100% dominated by Japanese companies. Three of the top 10 games here were published by foreign companies: Social Quantum (Russia), Gameloft (France), and Koramgame (China). Popular iOS game genres in Japan included Action, Puzzle, and Role Playing. As in the previous month, LINE continued to have three games in the top 10 in Japan.

ぷよぷよ!!クエスト (Puyo Puyo!! Quest), released in March 2013, moved up four spots to take the number one position in the iOS App Store in May. Similar to Puzzle & Dragons, Puyo Puyo!! Quest combines tile-matching puzzle game Puyo Puyo with role-playing features. Puyo Puyo is one of the most popular puzzle video games in Japan and has been ported to many handheld gaming platforms.

Five games were new to the top 10 in Japan this month:

  • Megapolis from Russian game publisher Social Quantum shot up to #4. This is a social city-building simulation game comparable to CityVille.
  • イズRPG 魔法使いと黒猫のウィズ ((Quiz RPG) Wizard and Wiz the Black Cat) moved up 32 spots to take the number six ranking. This game was first released on Google Play on March 4 and then brought to the iOS App Store on April 22. As mentioned in last month’s Index, this Japanese game resembles Puzzle & Dragons in that the player answers quizzes in order to attack the monsters.
  • Iron Man 3 from French publisher Gameloft ranked #7 with a 26-spot increase. This game was launched on April 25, one day prior to the Japan premiere of the Iron Man 3 superhero movie.
  • Published by Chinese company Koramgame in May, マスター オブ カオス (Master of Chaos) debuted in the top 10 in Japan. Koramgame promoted this Action/Role Playing game in Japan by running TV commercials featuring a famous Japanese rock band.
  • COLOPL’s 一瞬のスキマ (Flash Interspace) was launched on iOS in May and shot up quickly to the top 10. This casual reflex reaction game from COLOPL is entirely free and does not leverage in-app purchases.

Puyo Puyo!! Quest was the top-downloaded iOS game in Japan in May 2013

 

Top Game Apps by Monthly Downloads in Japan Google Play May 2013
Game Rank Change vs. April 2013 Publisher Headquarters Game Subcategory
1 LINE JELLY 4 LINE Japan Brain & Puzzle
2 パズル&ドラゴンズ (Puzzle & Dragons) 1 GungHo Online Japan Brain & Puzzle
3 LINE WIND runner - LINE Japan Arcade & Action
4 LINE Bubble! 2 LINE Japan Brain & Puzzle
5 LINE POP 1 LINE Japan Brain & Puzzle
6 一瞬のスキマ! (Flash Interspace) 109 COLOPL Japan Arcade & Action
7 俺の校長 (My School Principal) 248 Marnishi Japan Casual
8 パズドラ攻略&ゲリラ
時間割!図鑑・スキル・
コンボ動画・魔法石
(Puzzle & Dragons pictorial book & Guerrilla Dungeon Schedule)
N/A* GENIUS N/A* Brain & Puzzle
9 LINE Dragon Flight 2 LINE Japan Arcade & Action
10 ケリ姫スイーツ (Princess Punt Sweets) 32 GungHo Online Japan Arcade & Action
SOURCE: App Annie Index ™

  *パズドラ攻略&ゲリラ時間割!図鑑・スキル・コンボ動画・魔法石 (Puzzle & Dragons pictorial book & Guerrilla Dungeon Schedule) was released in May 2013, so it had no Rank Change vs. April 2013. It also was removed from Google Play at the beginning of June.

On Google Play, Japanese publishers had a clean sweep of the 10 most-downloaded games in Japan in May 2013. As on the iOS App Store, the top games on Google Play were almost all Brain & Puzzle and Arcade & Action games.

LINE JELLY moved up 4 spots to the top of the chart in May. With the exception of Puzzle & Dragons, publisher LINE swept the top five spots for top-downloaded Google Play games in Japan.

Other notable risers in the May 2013 rankings included the following:

  • COLOPL’s casual reflex reaction game 一瞬のスキマ (Flash Interspace) ranked among the top 10 downloaded apps in Japan across both iOS and Google Play in May.
  • 俺の校長 (My School Principal) from publisher Marnishi was the biggest mover in this month’s top 10, as it jumped over two hundred spots to #7. This game was released in mid-April and featured on the Google Play Home Page as a Trending App from April 26 to May 6. In this game, the player becomes a school principal and makes a speech in front of students.
  • GungHo Online's ケリ姫スイーツ (Princess Punt Sweets) is a slingshot game in the vein of Angry Birds. Released in November 2012, it jumped 32 spots to make the top 10 by both downloads and revenue in Google Play in May. As mentioned in an earlier Index, GungHo Online sometimes collaborates with other companies for promotional purposes; we saw this again from April 26 to May 12 with Princess Punt Sweets and にゃんこ大戦争 (Battle Cats) , a popular tower defense game published by PONOS.

 

Princess Punt appeared on the Battle Cats stage in Japan

 

Top Game Apps by Monthly Revenue in Japan iOS May 2013
Game Rank Change vs. April 2013 Publisher Headquarters Game Subcategory
1 Puzzle & Dragons - GungHo Online Japan Role Playing, Puzzle
2 プロ野球PRIDE (Pro Baseball PRIDE) - COLOPL Japan Sports, Action
3 LINE WIND runner 10 LINE Japan Action, Adventure
4 ドラゴンリーグX (Dragon League X) 1 Asobism Japan Role Playing, Card
5 GUNDAM AREAWARS 3 Namco Bandai Games Japan Strategy, Simulation
6 ラブライブ! スク ールアイドル フェスティバル (Love Live! School Idol Festival) 14 KLab Japan Adventure, Music
7 釣りスタ by GREE (グリー) (Fishing Star) 3 GREE Japan Action, Sports
8 LINE POP 1 LINE Japan Puzzle, Arcade
9 不良道~ギャングロー ド~ (Gang Road) 4 CyberAgent Japan Board, Card
10 秘宝探偵 (Treasure Detective) - COLOPL Japan Role Playing, Adventure
SOURCE: App Annie Index ™

The top 10 grossing games in the iOS App Store were dominated entirely by domestic publishers.

Puzzle & Dragons was the #1 grossing game in Japan across both the iOS App Store and Google Play for yet another month. In mid-May, GungHo Online announced that this game had achieved 14MM cumulative downloads across the app stores.

Another example of how GungHo Online collaborates with other companies for cross-promotional purposes is that from May 27 to June 9, Puzzle & Dragons worked with the popular Japanese animation movie Evangelion:3.33. Players were able to collect special cards that featured characters in the movie.

Popular Japanese animation movie Evangelion:3.33 partnered with Puzzle & Dragons

Yet another example of collaboration is seen with GungHo Online and Supercell announcing that their blockbuster games of Puzzle & Dragons, Clash of Clans, and Hay Day would include special cross-promotional features for two weeks starting June 24.

Puzzle & Dragons players can collect Clash of Clans themed monsters

COLOPL’s プロ野球PRIDE (Pro Baseball PRIDE), a Japanese professional baseball card collection game, kept its #2 ranking in May. This game has surpassed 3MM cumulative downloads across both iOS and Google Play since its launch in April 2012.

GUNDAM AREAWARS from publisher Namco Bandai Games is a card battle game featuring the popular Japanese animated TV series GUNDAM. This is the oldest game in this month’s rankings, as it was initially released September 2011. Since its major version upgrade in September 2012, it has maintained its consistently high ranking.

ラブライブ! スクールアイドルフェスティバル (Love Live! School Idol Festival) from publisher Klab moved up 14 spots to take the number six ranking. Love Live! is a multimedia rhythm and adventure game that includes music CDs, animation videos, books, and other items. This game was launched for iOS in April 2013, and has since been brought over to Google Play in June 2013. It is in the process of being expanded beyond smartphones as well, and will be released for the Sony PlayStation Vita handheld gaming platform in the spring of 2014.

Rounding out the top 10 for another month was COLOPL’s 秘 宝探偵 (Treasure Detective), a classic style role-playing card battle game. It was initially launched in Japan on Google Play in January 2012 and on the iOS App Store in February 2012. Subsequently, it was brought to a Korean app store in November 2012. Then in May 2013, COLOPL partnered with a Taiwan publisher and released this game for both the iOS App Store and Google Play in Taiwan.

 

Top Game Apps by Monthly Revenue in Japan Google Play May 2013
Game Rank Change vs. April 2013 Publisher Headquarters Game Subcategory
1 パズル&ドラゴンズ (Puzzle & Dragons) - GungHo Online Japan Brain & Puzzle
2 LINE WIND runner 5 LINE Japan Arcade & Action
3 プロ野球PRIDE (Pro Baseball PRIDE) 1 COLOPL Japan Sports Games
4 LINE POP 2 LINE Japan Brain & Puzzle
5 秘宝探偵 (Treasure Detective) 1 COLOPL Japan Casual
6 LINE Bubble! 3 LINE Japan Brain & Puzzle
7 暴走列伝 単車の虎 (Tiger of a motorcycle) 2 Donuts Japan Casual
8 クイズRPG 魔法使いと 黒猫のウィズ ((Quiz RPG) Wizard and Wiz the Black Cat) 2 COLOPL Japan Casual
9 ケリ姫スイーツ (Princess Punt Sweets) - GungHo Online Japan Arcade & Action
10 LINE PLAY 1 LINE Japan Casual
SOURCE: App Annie Index ™


Many of the top 10 grossing games in the iOS App Store also made the top 10 on Google Play. As with the iOS App Store, Japanese publishers swept the list on Google Play, with GungHo Online, LINE, and COLOPL taking 9 of the top 10 spots in May.

GungHo Online’s パズル&ドラゴンズ (Puzzle & Dragons) kept its #1 ranking for another month. Endless running game LINE WIND runner moved up 5 positions to become #2. Four of LINE’s games ranked among the top 10 grossing games this month. Three of COLOPL’s games (i.e. (Quiz RPG) Wizard and Wiz the Black Cat, Treasure Detective, and Pro Baseball PRIDE) ranked in the top ten.COLOPL CEO Naruatsu Baba commented to App Annie on their successes:

"In particular, our new title 'Quiz RPG' released in March has already achieved two million downloads in three months since its launch, and we feel that this title is becoming one of COLOPL's smash hits. Treasure Detective and Pro Baseball PRIDE have also performed solidly for over a year since their launch.Through a series of updates, renewals, recognition of the user's voice and holding regular events, we have stepped up the ‘game’ so that players can continue to enjoy playing for a long time. Success can, in large part, be attributed to finely-tuned operations for not only new games but existing games. We will continue to strive towards creating fun and creative games not just in Japan but for all over the world."

暴走列伝 単車の虎 (Tiger of a Motorcycle) from Donuts is a unique avatar game that lets players form a motorcycle gang, fight with other gangs to buy motorcycle parts, and then customize their own motorcycles with those parts. In May, this game remained in the top 10 for another month. This game has been a longtime seller: It was previously released on the Mobage platform for feature phones in back January 2011. After its success on Mobage, it was brought to Google Play in January 2012 and then to the iOS App Store in March 2012.

暴走列伝 単車の虎 (Tiger of a motorcycle) has been a longtime seller in Japan across feature phones and smartphones.

 

Notes:

  • The publisher and app rankings reported in the App Annie Index are based on the download and revenue estimates available through App Annie Intelligence. Daily rank history charts and home page feature information are available to all users through App Annie Store Stats .
  • 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 Games Index. If the app’s Primary Category is Entertainment and its Secondary Category is Games, then it will not be included in this Games Index; it is a candidate for the Apps Index.
  • 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 now 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.
  • All publishers have been grouped together under their parent publishers, where available. For example, the publisher Mobage is included under the parent publisher DeNA.
  • Any non-App Annie trademarks or images used in this report are the property of their respective owners. App Annie claims no rights in those trademarks.

July 25, 2013

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