Data drop: Candy Crush hits $20bn, Monster Hunter nets 5m, hybridcasual shakes up the puzzle genre and more


There’s a deluge of new data and research to wade through every week.

So every Wednesday we’re here to break it all down into digestible chunks: data drop has just the numbers you need to know about, minus the fluff.

King by the numbers

Candy Crush maker King put out some new numbers as it marked 20 years in the games business this week:

– The King portfolio now has over 200m MAU
– The Candy Crush franchise has now hit $20bn lifetime revenue
– The Candy Crush series has over 5bn lifetime installs
– Candy Crush has been the top grossing game franchise in US app stores for six years in a row
– Over 50m people played Farm Heroes Saga in 2022
– Farm Heroes Saga is the first UK-developed mobile game to hit $1bn

There’s more from King in our conversation with president Tjodolf Sommestad through the link.

Monster Hunter Now hits 5m downloads, ~$15m revenue

Niantic and Capcom’s new take on Pokémon Go is going well, according to a post on X earlier this week. It said that Monster Hunter Now hit 5m downloads in its first week.

Third party data firm Appmagic suggests that as of yesterday, has just under 5m downloads, and has already made over $15m for Niantic and Capcom.

Hybridcasual is disrupting the puzzle genre

A new Sensor Tower report breaks down the puzzle game genre into download, revenue and geographical buckets.

The market overview shows that while there’s a wide spread of sub-genres being downloaded, ‘swap’ puzzlers – like Candy Crush and Royal Match – are the dominant revenue drivers.

Interesting to note that while there’s a ton of merge games out there, they seem to have a pretty low relative market share on both downloads and revenue.

Sensor Tower’s geographical breakdown by revenue shows a wider spread of puzzle sub-genres in the US and Europe, and some very different patterns in China and Japan. ‘Swap’ is dominant in China, and the ‘chain’ sub-genre is huge in Japan, likely down to the popularity of Disney Tsum Tsum.

The big trend here is the rise of hybridcasual games. Casual puzzle games are declining slightly, but hybridcasual games are surging in terms of both downloads and revenue: up 430% year-on-year, with the likes of Triple Match 3D, Match 3D, Collect Em All, Match Tile 3D and Brain Test leading the way.

Elsewhere in the report, Sensor Tower has a top downloads chart for the biggest three sub-genres by downloads: Candy Crush Saga is top in ‘swap’, Angry Birds 2 leads in ‘physics’ and Brain Out is the biggest in ‘riddle’ puzzlers.

By revenue, the subgenres are ‘swap’, ‘blast’ and ‘chain’, with Candy Crush Saga, Toon Blast and Disney Tsum Tsum top respectively.

TapNation hits 1bn downloads

Hypercasual firm and one of many large companies boycotting Unity, TapNation, says it has passed 1bn downloads across its portfolio.

The Ice Cream Inc, Thief Puzzle and Monster Squad Rush publisher market the milestone by with an ad in Times Square, New York (above).

Roblox axes 30 staff

As reported by TechCrunch, Roblox has laid off around 30 employees, mostly in the recruitment team. A Roblox statement obtained by TechCrunch read: “The aggressive growth targets Roblox was operating against in the past few years required a heavier investment in our [talent acquisition] organization.”

“With our commitment to getting our cash compensation growth in line with our bookings growth by the end of Q1 2024, we now need a smaller talent acquisition organization to meet our adjusted hiring needs. This action is the result of the reduction in our hiring targets to better align with our growth goals.”

Indian market opportunities

Niko Partners has put out another territory report, this time looking at India. It says it is the fastest growing games market in Asia, and is mostly mobile. Some quick stats:

  • India video games revenue is forecast to reach $868m in 2023 and $1.6bn in 2027
  • India will have an estimated 444m gamers in 2023, and 641m in 2027
  • India is a mobile-first market: 96.8% of total gamers play on smartphones or tablets
  • 31% of India’s 444.4m gamers will spend on games in 2023, with annual ARPPU to reach $6.38

Join Clash hits 400m downloads

We’d not come across this game or company before, but according to this LinkedIn post Supersonic-published game Join Clash just passed 400m downloads. It is developed by Miami-based hypercasual dev FreePlay, and was released in February 2020.

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