Five Mobile Gaming Trends in Q1 2017

The Think Gaming team analyzed Q1 2017 performance vs. Q1 2016 for the top ten mobile publishers. Here are the key trends in the industry.

Continued domination by the biggest franchises: Established titles continued their dominance at the top of the charts. Supercell still reigns supreme with Clash of Clans and Clash Royale. Machine Zone titles Mobile Strike and Game of War: Fire Age continue to print money and King had a solid quarter thanks to their enduring stable of Match-3 Puzzlers. The gaming business is certainly hits-driven, but the rewards for creating a hit are enormous.

Pokémon GO isn’t going anywhere: Niantic’s Pokémon Go appears to have the staying power to join the ranks of the hits. Early naysayers suggested that the game didn’t have enough depth or variety to stick around, but it’s continued performance at the top of the charts suggests otherwise.

Mini Clip’s quiet growth. Mini Clip has been steadily growing. 8 Ball Pool and Archery King have seen slow, steady growth over the past year, though we’re seeing a bit of an April slow down for those titles.

But where there are winners, there are also losers. Publishers EA and Big Fish suffered the largest year-over-year drops.

EA needs a new hit. EA’s revenue decline was mainly driven by a lack of new hits. Madden NFL Mobile remains EA’s top mobile title but is on the decline, and the replacements haven’t materialized.

Social Casino is shrinking. Big Fish Games is suffering from industry-wide declines in the social casino genre. Big Fish’s top title Big Fish Casino saw a multi-million revenue drop despite growth in new installs. While social casino remains a big category, it appears that growth may be over.

 

Revenue Rank 1Q17 vs. 1Q16
1Q17 1Q16 Revenue Change New Installs Change
Supercell 1 1 -8% -13%
Machine Zone Inc 2 2 31% 19%
King 3 3 38% 5%
Epic War Llc 4 5 214% 40%
Niantic Inc 5 n/a n/a n/a
Electronic Arts 6 4 -42% 4%
Miniclip Com 7 14 124% 128%
Playtika Ltd 8 8 11% 56%
Zynga Inc 9 7 -9% 24%
Big Fish Games Inc 10 6 -37% 10%

Think Gaming will be keeping an eye on these trends and any emerging hits as 2Q 2017 unfolds.

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