February 28, 2014
Japanese game developer GungHo Online recently released its 2013 financials, revealing sales of $1.5 billion, 91 percent of which came from the game “Puzzle & Dragons.” This marks the first mobile game to officially earn over $1 billion. The company noted that $775 million of these sales were generated through Google Play, and $650 million through the Apple App Store. GungHo also announced that the game generated $155 million in January this year.
“The only competitor for the claim would be Supercell’s ‘Clash of Clans’ (ironically now owned by GungHo and SoftBank),” reports PocketGamer. “Although ‘Clash of Clans’ was released earlier than ‘Puzzle & Dragons,’ the latter was quicker into the top grossing charts and also quicker to be released on iOS and Android, likely giving it the advantage in terms of generating cash.”
“Puzzle & Dragons” has exceeded 2 million downloads in North America, evidence that Asian games can successfully compete in the western market. In contrast, the game has failed to gain popularity in European markets.
In related news, Mashable reports that according to the App Annie Index, popular Japanese messaging app and social platform Line was the top earning app in the world last year. In addition, “Japan surpassed the U.S. as the top country in terms of app revenue, driven largely by games on Google Play.”
Mashable notes other observations from the App Annie Index:
- Japanese publisher GungHo Online and its game “Puzzle & Dragons” are the top-earning publisher and app in the world, respectively (merchandising not included).
- South Korea bumped the U.K. off the podium to be the third-highest earning country in app revenue.
- China’s Alipay was the second most-downloaded payment app in the world, despite skewed China rankings.
- Outside of games, three Chinese publishers made the top ten most-downloaded app publishers: Sungy Mobile (third), Tencent (eighth), and Baidu (tenth).