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.
Games companies were a big presence in Data.ai’s ranking of the 50 top grossing publishers on mobile platforms. Tencent was top, of course, with Activision Blizzard just ahead of Netease in fifth and sixth respectively. Playrix was in 7th, Netmarble was 9th and Playtika was 10th.
The 11-20 rankings were dominated by games companies with Mihoyo, Aristocrat, Moon Active, NCsoft, Take-Two, Bandai Namco, Roblox, CyberAgent and 37 Entertainment all present.
Take-Two’s acquisition of Zynga boosted it up the rankings 49 places year-on-year to 15th, largely driven by Empires & Puzzles and Zynga Poker.
Royal Match maker Dream Games (42) and Evony creator Top Games (46) also saw double-digit jumps up the rankings.
Publishers headquartered in Asia Pacific dominated the list and made up 27 of the top 50. The US had the largest number of top publishers for a single country with 17, followed by China with 12.
Total downloads in the hypercasual space are down year-on-year around 12% for Q2, from 4.2bn to 3.7bn installs.
The top ten most downloaded games were as follows:
Alongside the expected bunch of top performers, Tomb of the Mask, Piano Star, Burger Please! and Duet Cats were noted as new or trending upwards significantly.
Mike Moran’s blog on how hypercasual game-makers are moving into hybridcasual takes SayGames’ Stealth Master: Assassin Ninja as a case study.
Moran notes that the game is effectively hypercasual up until level 7, and is slammed with ads.
He notes that ‘remove ads’ pop-ups should offer two options, one designed to make the other feel like a bargain – remove ads for a week for $7.99, or forever for $9.99. This makes the latter the ‘no-brainer’ option.
After level 7, Stealth Master introduces a load of hooks: live ops, battle passes, daily rewards and some unlockable, ‘coming soon’ game content to keep retention high.
Another snippet from Newzoo here about player demographics: just over three quarters of the nearly 75k people that took part in its recent survey played games, and the most popular platform was mobile (60%). PC (33%) was just ahead of console (32%).
Naturally as the demographics go younger there are more players, with 93% of ‘gen alpha’ – 10-13 year olds – playing games. Don’t forget the boomers, though: a surprising 44% of 59-65 year-olds play games, too.
Some pointers on creating ads for action games here, with COD: Mobile a key example.
Mintegral says players like to see customisable weapons, equipment, and a diverse selection of vehicles in their ads. Numerical displays work too because countdown timers, high scores, HP indicators and progress bars are satisfying; timers create tension and levelling up visuals tease progression.
Real player performance is also worth including to ground the game footage in something human.
A random casual element – COD: Mobile ads show its cooking minigames – works, as does a wacky or unexpected twist to grab attention.
Some fun stats from NaturalMotion on CSR 2 here, as it passes its seventh birthday:
According to Appmagic data it has earned Zynga over $316m in IAP in its lifetime from 82m downloads. It pulls in around $2m per month in IAP.