As we approach the end of the first month of the year, analytic firm App Annie released today their final data for 2013. The report listed the top mobile games of last year. Each game was ranked on their number of downloads as well as generated revenue.
The results were quite compelling. Although we all expected King’s Candy Crush Saga to rank high on the charts, which it did, it was still surprising that another game secured the #1 position for the most revenue earned worldwide.
Can you guess which mobile app game literally crushed Candy Crush Saga?
No. Well, it was GungHo’s Puzzles & Dragons that made the most cash worldwide. So, how did they do it?
According to App Annie’s trend statistics, Japan has surpassed the US for title as the country that earns the most in app revenue. Their massive jump in growth during the past year was primarily due to an increase in game usage with Google Play as the preferred platform.
Puzzles and Dragons also followed the freemium business model which relies predominately on in-app purchases as its app monetization method. During 2013, freemium as a business model was found to be incredibly successful for multiple app categories with games showing the highest potential. The secret to making this model work for devs is to create quality games that will enable them to conjure up creative incentives that will make consumers want to purchase the items within the app.
Let’s condense this method down to its simplest form. In three words or less developers should integrate into their gameplay ‘fun addictive-musts’ for optimal monetization. GungHo’s Puzzles and Dragons is a perfect example of giving users those two little things.
In the game players form teams of cool looking monsters, and then match puzzle segments in order to progress further through various dungeons. If you love fantasy, brain teasers, and teaming up you’re your friends the mechanics appear extremely fun.
Like most games accumulating rare items and speeding up the progress of advancing in the game is huge for players. Puzzles and Dragons charge in-app purchases for obtaining ultra rare creatures, adding bonus slots to store monsters, more friends and refill the stamina bar.
There are a lot of app monetization tips that can be learned from following GungHo Online’s mobile strategy. Below is a list of the most successful mobile games of 2013:
Top Mobile Games Worldwide Ranked by Revenue
1. Puzzles & Dragons
2. Candy Crush Saga
3. Clash of Clans
4. Hay Day
5. The Simpsons Tapped Out
6. The Hobbit: Kingdoms
10. Kingdoms of Camelot: Battle of the North
Top 10 Mobile Games Worldwide Ranked by Downloads
1. Candy Crush Saga
2. Subway Surfers
3. Temple Run 2
4. Despicable Me
5. Fruit Ninja
6. Angry Birds
7. Hill Climb Racing
9. 4 Pics 1 Word
10. Real Racing 3
If you’re interested in learning more the full 39 page report from App Annie on the mobile game industry can be downloaded here.