Newzoo Now Tracks Top iOS Games In The U.S., China And Europe

Starting from today we will be bringing you a new free monthly ranking: Top iOS Games by Revenues covering the US, China and Europe. This revenue ranking is based on our proprietary analysis and modeling of app store data. Through our partnership {link no longer active} with app analytics specialist PrioriData, we will also be providing you with the Top iOS Games by Downloads. Both rankings are available as of today and will be updated around the 10th of each month. You can find the key highlights from each country/region below. This new service and partnerships reflect Newzoo’s ambition to be the first research and analytics company in the world that offers a full suite of games-related market intelligence across all screens, business models and regions.

US Top 20 iOS Games | Casino Games Generate Revenues
The most noteworthy trend in the revenues charts in May is the prevalence of casino games (seven out of the top 20), with publishers like Big Fish Games, Double Down Interactive and Zynga banking on this popular genre among Americans. For deeper insights on the US casino market, check out our Casino Gaming Report & Data {link no longer active}. The top four games in the Top 20 iOS Games by Revenues were stable from the previous month, with Supercell’s Clash of Clans on top, Machine Zone’s Game of War — Fire Age at Rank 2, and King’s Candy Crush Saga and Candy Crush Soda Saga at Ranks 3 and 4 respectively.

Other key take-aways:

  • Supercell and King have three titles each in the top ten games by revenues. Supercell’s Hay Day fell two spots in May to Rank 7, while Boom Beach kept its position at Rank 8. Kabam’s Marvel Contest of Champions saw the biggest improvement in May, jumping seven places to Rank 9.
  • The Top 20 iOS Games by Downloads saw a lot of activity at the top in May. Australian indie developer Hipster Whale’s Crossy Road hopped its way to number one, up three spots from April, dethroning Mortal Kombat X in the process; the Warner Bros. title fell four spots to Rank 5.
  • The most impressive climb in May was Big Duck Games’ puzzle title Flow Free, which shot up seven spots to Rank 4. 

Europe Top 20 iOS Games | Criminal Case’s Download Debut at #1
The Top 20 iOS Games by Downloads saw two new titles entering the top three in May. Parisian developer Simple Things debuted at number one with Criminal Case. The detective-themed hidden object game, originally released as a Facebook game in 2012, dethroned Mortal Kombat X, which tumbled nine spots to Rank 10 in May. Marvel Future Fight by South Korean developer Netmarble Games also debuted strongly in the download charts at Rank 3.

Other key take-aways:

  • The top eight games by revenues were unchanged in May, with Supercell and King firmly planted at the top. All three of Supercell’s titles in the Top 20 iOS Games by Revenues did not move in May and King’s Candy Crush Saga and Candy Crush Soda Saga were also stable at Ranks 2 and 3 respectively.
  • King’s fourth title in the revenues charts, Pet Rescue Saga, didn’t fare as well, falling 9 places to Rank 18. 

China Top 20 iOS Games — Fantasy Westward Journey on Top
NetEase’s Fantasy Westward Journey topped both the revenues and download charts in May, not moving after its number one debut in the April rankings. This comes as no surprise, as we’ve previously seen the game debut at number one in our Top 20 Grossing Android Games in April. The mobile MMORPG games is based on NetEase’s hugely successful PC client game that has attracted more than 310 million registered users over the last 10 years.

Other key take-aways:

  • Tencent dominates the Top 20 iOS Games by Revenues in China with nine titles, two of which were stable in the top five: We Fire Rank 2 and WeFly at Rank 5. Tencent’s big climber in May was Happy Lord (QQ Official), soaring eight places to Rank 10.
  • There are only three Western titles in the revenues charts, and only Supercell’s Boom Beach made into to the top 10, climbing four spots to Rank 8. Interestingly, Mojang’s Minecraft, which sees regular success in the Android rankings, does not even feature in the Top 20 iOS Games by Revenues.
  • Western titles were a bit more successful in the download rankings, with five titles in the top 20. Rover’s Angry Birds Fight! debuted at Rank 5, while French publisher Gameloft’s Asphalt 8: Airborne climbed seven places to Rank 9.

Twitch Steps Outside Of Gaming For New Specials Program

Twitch is certainly no stranger to trying new things to cater to its massive streaming audience. It’s introduced new music services, teamed up with global broadcaster Boiler Room for a channel devoted to underground music, and even had a quirky – yet successful – partnership with Old Spice that put users in control of a man’s actions in the wilderness for three days.

Now, it looks to expand its community with even more possibilities. The company has announced a new program called “Twitch Specials,” a promotional program that concentrates on unique content made with Twitch community in mind.

The first partner on board with the project is SFX Entertainment, the leading producer of global live events, media and entertainment content focused around electronic music culture. It will partner with the channel to showcase the forthcoming Spring Awakening Music Festival, which starts today and runs through the whole weekend. The Festival features a who’s who of electronic artists, including Diplo, Tiesto and Afrojack, among others.

This is the latest move by the company to offer something outside of the routine game programming, following previous promotions where it partnered with HBO for a Silicon Valley event as well as an advanced premiere of USA’s forthcoming pilot for Mr. Robot.

The company admitted that there was a challenge in showcasing unique content to fit the interests of the community, without forgetting the core values that made it so popular to begin with. “While the community response to our music and television experiments have been very positive, the context of their presence isn’t always clear given our predominant focus on gaming,” said Jonathan Simpson-Bint, Chief Revenue Officer for Twitch. “By turning these types of entertainment offerings into a branded promotional program called ‘Twitch Specials’, we are adding that desired clarity for the community and formalizing a new way in which major brands can work with our influencers directly for the benefit of the community.”

Although new interests will be part of the “Twitch Specials” program, the company will continue to keep gaming involved somehow, including actors and musicians discussing their game skills. At the same time, promotions will still be tied in with participating brands, providing monetization opportunities for particular community members.

Other “Twitch Specials” haven’t been revealed just yet, but the company should have more events revealed on its blog soon. In the meantime, gamers will get more than enough from Twitch coverage between its extensive live streaming schedule at E3 2015 next week, and TwitchCon, which takes place this September in San Francisco.

‘Bloodstained’ Becomes KickStarter’s Top Funded Game. Ever.

Launching a KickStarter campaign for a game can be successful, but there can also be pratfalls, depending on if the project has enough justifiable hype behind it, or if there’s enough interest to bring it to fruition. However, in this case, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night looks to become the biggest project for the crowdfunding site to date – and that’s good news for its creator and producer, Koji “Iga” Igarashi.

We previously talked about Bloodstained last month, where the game got off on the right foot by raising $1.5 million in its first 24 hours alone – a record that surpasses other success stories like Yooka-Laylee and Mighty No. 9 with ease. But now, with just hours to go, the Bloodstained project has cleared $5.5 million in overall funding, which will set a new record when it comes to games funded by KickStarter.

There are two factors to consider when it comes to the game’s overall success in funding. The first is strong word-of-mouth. Igarashi is the developer of the fan favorite Castlevania franchise, including the smash 1997 release Symphony of the Night, which introduced an open-world “Metroidvania” approach, with an emphasis on exploration. Bloodstained looks to have a lot in common with that game, along with a traditional side-scrolling art style that instantly appeals to Castlevania fans, even if it is an entirely new game.

The second factor lies with the consistent rewards and goals introduced with the program. With each new goal met, Igarashi and his team were quick to add new ones to keep fans entertained, including bringing in specific talent (like Metal Gear Solid voice actor David Hayter) and introducing nostalgia-based goodies, like a separately released Bloodstained prequel and various soundtrack options.

One more factor to consider is availability for other platforms. Bloodstained was initially introduced as a project for specific systems, like the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, but with certain reward tiers, Igarashi and company promised to bring it to other systems, including the Wii U (with help from the team at Armature), PS Vita and Nintendo 3DS. Now that these goals have been met with ease, the game will have bigger exposure on even more platforms.

So what does this mean for future campaigns It indicates that, with the right push and word of mouth on social media, KickStarter funding works. Sure, there are certain factors that have to be met, such as providing the right level of information of the game (to which Igarashi had no shortage of with Bloodstained) and maybe even a certain hint of nostalgia with a familiar game series (like Mighty No. 9 had with the Mega Man series – since both were put together by producer Keiji Inafune).

So what now With the campaign wrapping up, Igarashi and his team will get straight to work on Bloodstained so it can meet its 2017 release date. In the meantime, he’s likely to post updates on his progress, so fans will know just what kind of adventure they’re in for. If it’s anything along the lines of Symphony of the Night, however, they have nothing to worry about.

Check out the original KickStarter pitch video below.


The [a]listdaily Guide To Thriving at E3

Next week’s forthcoming Electronic Entertainment Expo isn’t just a place to check out the best and brightest in video games. It’s also an ideal opportunity to talk with people involved with every aspect of the game, from its development to its marketing. Various members from companies will be present and accounted for at the event, and it’s a great way to get to know more about a key project. As well, you can check out the buzz at the show, see what’s hot and what’s not, and find out what people seem to be most impressed by at the show. There’s nothing like seeing an enormous crowd around some display to drive home just how attractive that is to E3 attendees.

Of course, connecting with people in the game industry is always a good thing to do at E3, primarily because so many of the people you want to talk to are somewhere at the show. That’s not to say that everyone’s readily available. Some companies require making an appointment to seeing a game or talking to a producer/developer behind it. (E3 is a very busy show, after all.) However, there’s more than enough opportunity to talk to someone who’s brought business to the show.

Here now is a quick guide in terms of how to network the right way at next week’s big event, and use your time most efficiently at the show:

Taking in The Show Floor
While you probably have plenty of appointments, budget a couple of hours at least (if you can) just to prowl the show floor and see what’s happening. It’s a great way to identify what’s working and what’s not in booth design, signage, advertising, and anything unusual. Look for big clusters of people and figure out what’s attracting so much attention. Conversely, look for areas devoid of attendees and see if you can figure out why no one is wandering around there. Did a certain sign catch your eye Take a moment to figure out why, and you may make one of your upcoming projects better.

Don’t forget to stay well hydrated, because you’ll get dried out fairly quickly. And when you get hungry, you may want to step outside and look for food trucks (some on the mezzanine level, some across the street). It’s a few minutes away, but you’ll find quite a different and tasty array of choices. Plus, there’s your chance to check out the external signage, displays, and events taking place outside the convention facility. Was that money well-spent Did it attract your attention, and can you remember what game or company it was for This is a massive marketing laboratory in the wild, and you can see some creative ideas thriving and others dying out before your eyes.

The PC Gaming Show
Not everything gaming-related is happening under the roof of the Los Angeles Convention Center. AMD and PC Gamer are hosting the PC Gaming Show, a separate event that will happen on June 16th at the Belasco Theater. More information about the event can be found here.

It’s a great spot to learn more about some of the best up-and-coming PC game developers, as various “PC celebrities,” like Boss Key Productions’ Cliff Bleszinski and DayZ team member Dean Hall will be on hand, alongside other studios like Blizzard, Square Enix, Paradox Interactive and others. It’s a celebration of everything PC gaming, and considering the size of its market, it’s worth knowing more about.

More information about the event can be found here. Separate registration is required.

Parties, Parties, Parties
The Electronic Entertainment Expo is serious business, but that doesn’t mean that companies are afraid to kick back and have some fun. Every night of the show seems to have something to offer in terms of getting together with members of the gaming community and having a good time.

Throughout the week, various companies will be hosting parties in and around L.A., including Azubu, Harmonix (Rock Band 4), Twitch (in partnership with Microsoft), Square Enix (Just Cause 3), BluBox, Wargaming, and industry analyst Michael Pachter’s official get-together.

These parties provide opportunities galore to mingle with fellow industry members, whether they’re journalists or game makers. They’re quite casual, and a perfect place to name drop, and get a little more information about upcoming titles, and what’s being heavily hyped.

Strike Up a Conversation
Even if you don’t have an appointment at a certain booth, it never hurts to go up, drop off a business card and say, “Hi, I’d like to learn more about your game.” Even though you probably won’t get to see it (most companies are booked full for the show by this point), there’s still likely to be someone that can provide a little background about the game, such as a release date and a general breakdown of what makes it worth getting excited about. Note: some companies may be a little too busy, but in any case, you’ll be able to get press assets that will provide you more details about a specific game. Certainly better than nothing.

Another good thing to do is check around some of the local areas for meet-ups after the show comes to a close for the day. Area hotels like the Hotel Figeuroa and the JW Marriott should have plenty of people around, chatting about business in the games industry, and these are great spots to sit for a spell, grab a drink and soak up information about forthcoming projects.

Stay In the Social Feed
Finally, if you want to get the most info out of E3 – as well as keep up with all the new game announcements – then social media is clearly a best bet. Following popular journalist accounts (like, ahem, @thedcd) is ideal for keeping in the know. Here are a few suggestions on who to follow.

  • @e3 on Twitter: Yes, the official E3 account will have plenty of information. In addition, this Wednesday, it’ll be the subject of an #E3Takeover, where various media favorites, including Patrick Scott Patterson, Rachel Lara, Paola “PancakePow” Alejandra, Brittney Brombacher and Genese Davis will provide coverage straight from the show floor.
  • @twitch on Twitter: Twitch will be broadcasting live from the show floor all week with a number of game demos and interviews, and more than likely, it’ll keep its Twitter feed updated with what’s streaming – as well as what’s been announced.
  • @EGMNOW on Twitter: This news outlet is certainly prepared for the big show, as it’s announced a number of team members in the media biz to help it along. This includes G4 veteran Adam Sessler, Totally Rad Show host Jeff Cannata and Best Game Show Ever hostess Jessica Villarreal.

More outlets, like @IGN and @KindaFunny and AHEM, @alistdaily, will provide coverage as well, so keep an eye out for details using the #e32015 hashtag.

YouTube Launches New Gaming Portal Ahead Of E3

It’s no secret that gaming-based videos are incredibly popular on YouTube. Previously reported numbers indicate that over 364 billion views have been garnered from gaming clips (through the end of last year) and 15 percent of the site’s overall content is devoted, in some way, to games. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that the company has just announced its own gaming portal, in an attempt to compete with the highly popular streaming channel Twitch.

During an event today held at the YouTube Space in Los Angeles, the company has announced a new portal called YouTube Gaming, which will be supported through both a website and a mobile app. With it, it’s intent on putting YouTube’s gaming content in one convenient place, with over 25,000 games featured on their own devoted pages.

In addition, users will be able to customize their virtual gaming space by choosing favorites and putting them in a “collection,” so they can be alerted when new trailers, Let’s Play clips or other relevant content tied in with that game is uploaded. The search engine for YouTube Gaming will also be modified, so users can find the games they’re looking for right away, instead of sifting through non-gaming related content.

Most importantly, YouTube Gaming will focus on streaming content, which will put it head-to-head against Twitch. It’ll be one of the initial options that appears on the app or the website when it’s pulled up, with options to view at 60fps where supported, as well as reminders, so users can automatically share a link when a live stream is happening.

The company has a fair share of broadcasters and video creators to its credit, but at this point, it still has a lot to prove on the live-streaming front — especially considering how well Twitch is getting things done over on its network. With YouTube Gaming, it’s a step in the right direction, but now it’s a matter of simply seeing how effective it is.

One step in that direction will come next week at E3, where YouTube will be partnering up with GameTrailers personality Geoff Keighley and a number of others for live coverage from the Electronic Entertainment Expo event in Los Angeles. The Google-owned broadcaster has already set up a devoted channel for the event, and already has a number of exclusives in place for its broadcast, starting Monday. These include an exclusive game reveal from the developers at Platinum Games, as well as a first look at gameplay from Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5, hosted by the veteran skateboarder himself, Tony Hawk.

Twitch welcomed YouTube’s entry into the game-streaming arena with a bit of snark:


PewDiePie Is Writing A Book

by Sahil Patel

Penguin Random House has won the book rights to YouTube superstar PewDiePie’s first book.

The book, titled This Book Loves You, is composed of more than 250 illustrated pages of “indispensable advice” and inspirational quotes straight from PewDiePie, known in real life as Felix Kjellberg.

It’s set for a worldwide release this fall, bowing in the US and UK on October 20. While Penguin Random House has global rights to the title, a few additional foreign distributors will release it in specific markets, such as Rowohlt in Germany, Aschehoug in Norway, Forum in Sweden, and Hachette in France.

Keep reading…

This article was originally posted on VideoInk and is reposted on [a]listdaily via a partnership with the news publication, which is the online video industry’s go-to source for breaking news, features, and industry analysis. Follow VideoInk on Twitter @VideoInkNews, or subscribe via for the latest news and stories, delivered right to your inbox.

SuperData: ‘Sequels And DLC To Dominate E3 As Market Totals $979M In May’

Analysis from SuperData CEO, Joost van Dreunen, follows:

  • With $979 million in May sales, US digital games revenue is up 11 percent year-over-year.
  • Can E3 handle the industry’s switch to digital
  • Heroes of the Storm enters right as US MOBA market plateaus at 28 million.
  • Google and Oculus place VR bets as install base reaches 11 million (2016E).
  • Konami sees its future in the $24.6 billion mobile market.

With $979 million in May sales, US digital games revenue is up 11 percent year-over-year.
Overall, US digital games revenues grew 11 percent compared to the same month last year, with all segments experiencing year-over-year revenue growth. Historically, May tends to be a slower month in the year as the summer season begins and the industry prepares its major releases for the holiday season. Across the market we observed an improvement in conversion rates, indicating a greater willingness among consumers to spend on digital games. Notably, despite stable player numbers, both digital console and digital PC market saw impressive year-over-year growth in revenues: 17 percent and 12 percent, respectively. May digital PC revenue was $203 million, and as more console players transitioned to newer systems with more storage and greater focus on digital content, May digital console revenue reached $67 million.

Ongoing high revenues from Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (NASDAQ: ATVI) and Grand Theft Auto V (NASDAQ: TTWO) contributed to the year-over-year increases in the digital console and PC markets. CD Projekt RED’s (WSE: CDR) The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt saw strong digital sales as well, becoming the third highest-grossing digital console and PC game of May, despite only being available for purchase during the later part of the month.

Can E3 handle the industry’s switch to digital
As the usual frenzy toward E3 accelerates, we expect this year to offer an emphasis on sequels and existing game franchises. Despite next gen consoles sales still going strong and continuing to outperform the last console cycle, Microsoft has already announced its price drop for the Xbox One to $350 for the base model. However, we expect the discussion around hardware this year to revolve around virtual reality. Following a slew of hardware announcements during GDC earlier this year, both Oculus and Sony’s Project Morpheus are likely to announce part of its initial lineup and pricing. As pre-orders for the Oculus go live during the upcoming holiday season, consumers will be looking for convincing killer apps to justify the initial expense.

In terms of software, we anticipate an emphasis on sequels rather than new IP. Considering the current install base of around 30 million units, it is an influx of risk-averse consumers rather than early adopters that will continue to grow the market. Consequently, this wave of consumers is generally less willing to take a chance on new content and chooses familiar titles and franchises instead. The real question on the table this year, however, is how the traditionally retail-focused event is going to adapt to an increasingly digital market. Simply put: since digital distribution is much less seasonal in terms of consumer spending, how will E3 maintain its position as a platform for publishers to announce their upcoming titles for the holiday season

Heroes of the Storm enters right as US MOBA market plateaus at 28 million.
In a single week we saw both the retirement date for Infinite Crisis by Turbine/Warner Bros. Interactive Ent. (NYSE: TWX) and the official release of Heroes of the Storm by Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ: TTWO). Activision Blizzard’s pedigree and marketing muscle is enough to convince millions to try the game out in the short term. But the company still faces an uphill battle to grab market share from League of Legends (Riot games/Tencent, SEHK: 700) and Valve’s DoTA2. Most MOBAs are exceedingly complex games; players who have invested substantial time to master one game are unlikely to jump ship. Because of this, Heroes of the Storm’s long-term success depends on Blizzard’s ability to draw in and retain players who have not already committed themselves to one of the genre’s existing entries. The MOBA market in the United States continues to perform well in terms of spending, but following its peak of 29 million MAUs in August 2014 has started to stabilize.

Google and Oculus place VR bets as install base reaches 11 million (2016E).
In anticipation of the holiday season, Oculus VR (NASDAQ: FB) began rolling out the first major details of its consumer headset, including a Q1 2016 launch window. Oculus is aiming for a premium experience and will target VR enthusiasts and hardcore gamers at first, with an estimated cost of $1,500 USD for the necessary PC rig and headset. Google (NASDAQ: GOOG), on the other hand, wants its VR offerings to be highly accessible out of the gate and is making a push to put its affordable Cardboard VR headset in classrooms and now supports both Android and iOS. Google’s initial strategy of appealing to a mainstream audience has allowed the company to ship 1 million Cardboard headsets, making it currently the most-used platform in the market. Finally, Sony’s Project Morpheus, which has not nearly received the same amount of attention, holds the promise of seamlessly combining VR with its massive PS4 install base. To do so, however, the Japanese giant will have to also offer compelling content. We expect to see some initial applications showcased during this year’s E3.

Konagi’s switch to mobile heralds end of Japanese console heyday.
After a highly-publicised executive reshuffling and the unfortunate cancellation of Silent Hills, Konami (TYO: 9766) CEO Hideki Hayakawa revealed in May that the company’s games division will be focusing on mobile games. Leaving behind a long history as a console-first publisher, the move makes sense for Konami given the state of the Japanese games market. Japan has a smaller mobile player base than North America and Europe, but thanks to high average spending, the country’s mobile revenue is on track to reach $6.2 billion (2015E), compared to $4.7 billion in North America and $3.7 billion in Europe. Different from North America and Europe, the release of a new generation of digital-focused consoles has not rejuvenated console sales in Japan. And with the exception of Square Enix (TYO: 9684), which has a substantial western operations, Japanese legacy publishers have not been able to take advantage the popularity of digital consoles elsewhere in the world. Going forward, other historically console-focused Japanese publishers like Sega (OTCMKTS: SGAMY) will continue to slim down their console development operations in favor of a mobile-first business model.

Geeohsnap’s Snapchat Advice To Brands: ‘Make People Feel Good!’

Geir Ove Pedersen is one of Snapchat’s biggest and most talented creators. Based in Norway, Geir sees inspriation for his Snaps absolutely everywhere. Lately, he’s been working on a series of inspired creations with his Random People Project, where he imagines people in places vastly different from where they are.

He took time from his vacation in Denmark to talk to us about his creative process and how important it is for him and for brands to make that emotional connection to followers on Snapchat. For Geir, it’s all about putting a smile on people’s faces.


How did you get started on Snapchat?

It all started in an airport in the fall of 2014. As a creative person, I always try to image things that are new and interesting.

I had just downloaded Snapchat and was checking out what creative things I could do with it. I saw a person really bored waiting for a plane and thought he wanted probably to be another place right now. Then the idea hit me: What if i could make him be in another place From there, the Random People Project was born and my adventure as an Snapchat artist began.

What inspires you?

Everything around me does. It could be a certain song, a sunset, a weird shape, personalities and so on. I offen ask myself questions like: “What if ,” “Why is it like that ” and “What can I do with it “. Lots of play with brainstorming and different art mediums gives me a lot of inspiration.

Describe your process.

I always go for the Snap first. Then I use some minutes to study the image and brainstorm a couple of ideas. I make a quick sketch and if im happy I will make the final artwork.

Since you’ve started, what have you learned about working on the platform?

That I could make friends all over the world! People are so amazing! I have also learned even if you use really simple and basic drawing tools and combine these with a realistic approach, you can make really good drawings! Combine that with a good idea and humor you can make people really happy.

Do you have any tips for brands on how to engage folks on Snapchat?

Too many brands are just pushing out boring advertisements and content. In the long run that is not a good strategy on a social network like this. Treat your followers like they want to be treated by giving them fun, interesting and amazing content. Imagine if you show a friend a regular advertisement versus a funny advertisement. Which one can make you feel good Same with Snapchat. Make people feel good! Followers are your friends because they are interested in you and they love as much as you do to smile and have a laugh.

What brands do you dream of working with?

I would love to be working with brands that are interested in creating content that would amaze and surprise people, make people feel good and smile. I want to work with brands that really care about their followers and want to give them something special in return.

What are your personal favorite people to follow on Snapchat?

There are so many great personalities and artist all over the world. Its hard to pick some. If i have to name one of my favorites it would probably be Shonduras. He was one of the first Snapchat artists I followed and he has a great personality, too.