Monster Strike surpasses Puzzle & Dragons as #1 app in Japan (Nov 2014 Analysis)

Monster Strike the new #1 app in Japan

For the past two years, "Puzzle & Dragons" (GungHo) has reigned supreme atop the Google Play and App Store charts in Japan, raising the bar for all apps to try and attain the top ranking on both charts. In November it became apparent that "Monster Strike" (mixi) has surpassed "Puzzle & Dragons" as the #1 app in Japan.

A look at the Japan Google Play and App Store Top Grossing charts in 2014 reveals that November was the first time that "Monster Strike" spent more days than "Puzzle & Dragons" at #1 on both charts in one calendar month.

 

mixi found success in Japan as an SNS service in the mid 2000s in the pre-smartphone era, a predecessor to Facebook. mixi had struggled to compete with other SNS services, but "Monster Strike" has offered it a lifeline and the company is back to profitability as a result.

The level of dominance by "Monster Strike" and "Puzzle & Dragons" is made more evident by the fact that no other app has reached #1 on the Google Play Top Grossing chart in Japan this year. Even on the App Store, only "Dragon Quest Monsters Super Light" (SQUARE ENIX) and "The White Cat Project" (COLOPL) have managed to attain the #1 ranking on the Top Grossing chart.

With metaps data, we produced original Top Grossing charts for the Japan App Store and Google Play stores for the month of November. "Monster Strike", "Puzzle & Dragons" and "LINE : Disney Tsum Tsum" for 1-2-3 on both charts, but apps from COLOPL, Supercell, KLab and Marvelous also make appearances on both charts.

 

Million Arthur Strikes Again

SQUARE ENIX found great success with "Kaku-San-Sei Million Arthur", a former #1 Top Grossing app on the Japan App Store and peaked at #6 on Google Play. In November they followed that up with the release of "Kai-ri-Sei Million Arthur", which has quickly shot up both Top Grossing charts.

We took a a look across all top ranking apps on the App Store Top Grossing chart and "Kai-ri-Sei Million Arthur" had the greatest difference in peak chart ranking between the App Store (peak: #7) and Google Play Top Grossing chart (peak: #19). This may be attributed to a larger pre-existing "Million Arthur" user base on the App Store.

Reversing the charts, we took a look across all top ranking apps on the Google Play Top Grossing chart and "Dragon Quest Monsters Super Light" had the greatest difference in peak chart ranking between the App Store (peak: #10) and Google Play Top Grossing chart (peak: #15).

 

Games stronger on Android

We took a look at the popular categories on both Google Play and the App Store Top Grossing charts, which indicate that a total of 94% of Top 100 ranking apps on the Japan Google Play Top Grossing chart were games, compared to 87% for the App Store. 

Likewise, we looked at the Top Free charts for both stores, and found that a total of 50% of Top 100 ranking apps on the Japan Google Play Top Free chart were games, compared to 36% for the App Store. Games hold a greater share of both best-selling and most downloaded apps on Google Play.

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(Blog released Dec. 2nd 2014, metaps November Top Grossing charts added on Dec. 4th 2014)