When it comes to mobile games, the more popular ones seem to stem from recognizable franchises. Even though there’s always room for some new blood to give the market a try, favorites like Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja have no problem drawing a crowd – especially with the involvement of new partners.
The latest iOS and Android numbers revealed the top mobile games for the current month, indicating that current brands like FIFA (featuring Lionel Messi amongst other players) and Angry Birds Transformers are still riding high on popularity. As a result, several small development teams are thriving, riding all the way to the top of the mobile charts, according to VentureBeat.
Angry Birds Transformers has proven to be a powerhouse addition to Rovio’s game line-up, becoming the number one downloaded game for the month of October on both formats. Disney’s Cars: Fast As Lightning notched a third place position, and Gameloft continues to profit from the moneymaker Kim Kardashian: Hollywood.
However, some companies have proven that you can teach an old dog new tricks as well. Halfbrick, the developers of the popular Fruit Ninja brand, garnered a huge audience last month when it introduced downloadable content based on the hit 1984 film Ghostbusters to its game, complete with plasma stream cannon and plenty of “spooky” fruit.
“Fruit Ninja‘s success presents an interesting twist to the trend of games based on licensed IP,” says the App Annie report. “Licensed updates may have an advantage in the form of shorter development cycles and lower costs while still providing a desired spike in downloads.”
The report also shows that Electronic Arts has managed to gain its own audience with the FIFA 15 Ultimate Teach game. “Over the past year, mobile sports games have become a significant part of Electronic Arts’ portfolio. Based on its latest earnings release, Electronic Arts’ mobile games averaged 155 million monthly active users during Q3 2014. Of this, its mobile sports games averaged 40 million MAUs during the same time period, a gain of 250 percent since last year.”
It’ll be interesting to see where the mobile market goes from here – and what new partnering ideas companies cook up with their popular franchises.