Game of War gains on #2 Candy Crush Saga, is #1 Clash of Clans next? (US 2014 Analysis)
A 2014 US App Store/Google Play market review should be titled something like this: "Clash of Clans dominates charts, Candy Crush Saga a distant second place." A look at the days spent at #1 on either Top Grossing chart shows that "Clash of Clans" held the top spot for over 90% of the year, on both charts.
While certainly being newsworthy, this isn't breaking news. The most interesting movement on the Top Grossing charts is what is currently happening at #2. In November, "Game of War : Fire Age" (Machine Zone) was able to push "Candy Crush Saga" aside and reach #2 Top Grossing on both charts in one calendar month, for the first time. It's the only app other than "Clash of Clans" and "Candy Crush Saga" to achieve this in 2014. "Candy Crush Saga" spent considerably more time at #2 in November, but "Game of War" came on strong at the end of the month and into the first two weeks of December as well, setting the stage for the possibility of "Game of War" surpassing "Candy Crush Saga" as the #2 app on either Google Play or the App Store for the month of December.
Machine Zone's large-scale promotional campaign has certainly helped boost "Game of War" up the charts, including TV commercials featuring supermodel Kate Upton being broadcast heavily during sports broadcasts, late night talk shows and also during prime-time TV programming. VentureBeat estimates that Machine Zone is operating with a $40 Million budget to market "Game of War", which would make them a comparable player to high spending Supercell and King in the mobile app market.
Looking beyond #1 and #2
Considering that "Candy Crush Saga" spent nearly the entire year at #2, we also decided to look at the #3 rank on Google Play and App Store Top Grossing charts in 2014. There were a total of 6 apps that ranked #3 on the Google Play Top Grossing chart in 2014. The Google Play version of "Game of War" was released in March and reached #3 in late July, remaining there until finally reaching #2 for the first time in November, so its rise to #2 was not sudden.
The #3 rank on the App Store Top Grossing charts was also held by 6 different apps in 2014, during which "Game of War" was ranked #3 for two-thirds of the year.
metaps Top Grossing/Top Free charts
We compiled the top App Store/Google Play charts for Nov. 2014, based on metaps data.
"Candy Crush Saga" holds onto the monthly chart #2 ranking on both the App Store and Google Play, but if current trends continue these ranks may reverse for the month of December, particularly on Google Play. In addition to the #1-2-3 ranked apps, "Farm Heroes Saga" (King), "Big Fish Casino" (Big Fish) and "Hay Day" (Supercell) also appear in the Top 10 Grossing apps for both the App Store and Google Play.
We also compiled our Top Free charts for November. Facebook takes #1 and #2 on both the App Store and Google Play, with the "Facebook Messenger" app at #1. These are two of the 6 apps that are shared on both Top 10 charts, in addition to "Instagram", "YouTube", "Snapchat" and "Pandora Radio".
Apps performing stronger in one store
We took a look across all top ranking apps on the US App Store Top Grossing chart in November and GREE had the top two apps with the greatest difference in peak chart ranking between the App Store and Google Play Top Grossing chart, with "Crime City" and "War of Nations".
Reversing the charts, we took a look across all top ranking apps on the Google Play Top Grossing chart and "Castle Clash" (IGG) had the greatest difference in peak Top Grossing chart ranking between Google Play (peak: #4) and the App Store (peak: #38).
Games stronger on Android in the US
We compiled the most popular categories on both the US Google Play and the App Store Top Grossing charts in November, which indicate that a total of 98% of Top 100 ranking apps on the US Google Play Top Grossing chart were games, compared to 81% for the App Store.
Likewise, we looked at the Top Free charts for both stores, and found that a total of 56% of Top 100 ranking apps on the US Google Play Top Free chart were games, compared to 30% for the App Store. Games hold a greater share of both best-selling and most downloaded apps on Google Play.
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