|Worldwide App Annie Index for Games November 2015
Each month, the App Annie Index highlights the top-performing games and apps for the iOS App Store and Google Play. Our analysis covers trends among the leading apps across countries and categories, and is the industry standard for professionals looking to compare leading apps and publishers.
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This Month’s Top Games
Facebook Integration Helps Blossom Blast Saga Bloom
King’s newest title, Blossom Blast Saga, raced up the Google Play download charts to grab the #5 spot in November. The title also performed exceptionally well on iOS, ranking among the top 5 most-downloaded games in November. Like King’s other Saga games, Blossom Blast Saga relies on the series’ familiar match-three game mechanics, except with a floral theme. The game’s initial success was spread globally as it ranked among the top 10 Google Play games by daily downloads in more than 50 countries.
Blossom Blast Saga was also recognized by Facebook as one of the best Facebook integrations in 2015. The ability to leverage social networks to drive user acquisition and engagement makes King a veritable hit machine. This was one factor behind Activision’s mammoth $5.9 billion acquisition of the mobile gaming behemoth. Judging by King’s continued success, mobile could soon become one of Activision’s most visible business segments.
Hero MOBA Surges in the East as Tencent Looks Westward
With We MOBA, Tencent has already tasted success with the Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) format. Its latest MOBA game, Hero MOBA, debuted in late October and climbed 32 places on this month’s iOS App Store download charts to grab #3. The game’s performance on the Worldwide Index was solely driven by its spectacular performance in China. In fact, Hero MOBA ranked #1 among iPhone games in China by month-over-month (MoM) change in active users.
Hero MOBA ranked #1 by increase in monthly active users (MAU) among iPhone games in China.
Hero MOBA’s rapid rise combined with previous hits like Legend of Mir 2 and We Fire truly demonstrates the power of Tencent’s brand in China. Rather than being content with domestic success alone, Tencent is also setting its sights on Western markets like the United States in partnership with Glu (thanks to its recent $126 million investment in the company).
This is an interesting trend reversal as Western companies usually look for a partnered approach to enter Asian markets. We will be watching Tencent’s progress very closely.
Mobile Strike Follows in Game of War’s Footsteps
Mobile Strike, Machine Zone’s first follow-up to Game of War, made its official debut and grabbed the #4 spot on the iOS download charts in November. While its strategy-oriented gameplay is reminiscent of Game of War, its contemporary military battles form a stark contrast with the medieval theme of its predecessor. However, Mobile Strike bears other similarities with Game of War. For one, its early download success has already translated into strong revenue gains, especially in the United States and Japan.
As we mentioned in the October 2015 Games Index, Mobile Strike has also emulated Game of War’s path to success by using celebrities to promote the game — in this case, former Hollywood action movie star Arnold Schwarzenegger. Given the tried-and-true nature of this strategy, we are curious to see if Machine Zone can repeat Game of War’s long-lasting success.
The Technology Behind the Index
The information contained in this report is compiled from App Annie Intelligence, the leading market data solution for the app store economy. To see how our app store download, revenue, demographic and usage estimates can help guide your critical business decisions, request a demo today.
- 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 homepage feature app data are available to all users through App Annie’s app tracker solution, Store Stats.
- App Annie Intelligence is currently available for the iOS App Store and Google Play. It does not currently provide estimates for other app stores, such as the Amazon Appstore. While iOS and Google Play represent a significant portion of the app market in many countries, that is not the case for some countries. For example, China has a number of sizable third-party Android app stores.
- 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.
- 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.
- Download rankings are based on individually downloaded apps and exclude downloads of app bundles. Revenue rankings are based on download revenue from individually downloaded paid apps as well as in-app purchase revenue from both individually downloaded apps and app bundles.
- 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 October 2015 to November 2015.
- 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.
- Company and app rankings are based on the App Annie DNA relationships at the time of publications. App Annie DNA relationships are subject to change over time.
- App Annie Usage Intelligence data for smartphones and tablets were derived from mobile usage data collected from a large sample of real-world users, combined with additional proprietary data sets.
- App Annie tracks usage at the device level using a privacy-protective hashed device ID. Data is only reported to third parties in aggregated format.
- 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.
- Certain trademarks and/or images used in this report may belong to third parties and are the property of their respective owners. App Annie claims no rights to such trademarks or images.