The Puzzle Games categories are some of the hottest in the stores. Many developers cut their teeth on simple puzzlers, and some become superstars with smash hit puzzle games like Candy Crush Saga, 2048, or the classic Cut The Rope.
There are still some seriously heavy hitting publishers focusing on this genre, but we saw newcomers tearing up the charts as well in 2016. We thought we’d dive in and see how the movers and shakers in the market are performing, and how the genre is fairing overall.
In this report, we’ll focus on the German Puzzle Games market, but the same report can be pulled together for any of the 60 countries Priori Data covers in next to no time, using Watchlists, Compare view, and the Custom Markets report tool.
Market Overview — More downloads, More $$$, and a surprise
Q4 2016 was a bumper quarter for the Puzzle Games mobile app market in Germany, with 21.3M downloads (up 1.9M from Q3) and $13M revenue generated from In-App purchases (up $0.8M from Q3).
Overall, performance was well distributed across the top players, though we did see BitMango pick up some serious traction with their title Roll the Ball on iOS. This is interesting, as they did well with Roll the Ball on Google Play back at the end of 2015, but the iOS version of the game never really took off back then. Good things come to those who wait, or so the saying goes — either way, it seems to be true for BitMango!
Market Leaders — BitMango grabbing downloads, King grabbing $$$
For Q4 2016, we see some likely suspects popping up multiple times. BitMango does well in terms of downloads, with 2 iOS entries and 3 Google Play entries, while puzzle kings King take out 3 spots in total.
In terms of store revenue, it’s a different story. On iOS, puzzle veteran King shows once again why they’re still top dog of the category with 4 titles in the top 10 on iOS, while BitMango drops out of the top 10 — even with their strong performance in terms of downloads. Russian studio Playrix demonstrates itself worthy of it’s newly minted position as Europe’s №2 gaming studio (Venturebeat) with 2 titles in the iOS top 10.
On Google Play, King does well, again capturing the top spot, this time with Candy Crush Jelly Saga. We can also see other traditionally strong players (Big Fish Games, SGN, Peak Games) continuing their dominance.
Early Winners in 2017
Of course, looking back is great, but it’s also important to keep an eye on the next generation of top puzzle games. So far in 2017 competition for the top new spots is fierce. Filtering by launch date, country, and category, we can see that of our top Publishers from Q4, only BitMango is pushing hard with a new puzzle game on iOS — all the other top new spots are filled by other studios.
It will be interesting to see how the market develops this year. Are some of the bigger studios hiding new games in soft launch? Will the top players keep their spots, or will one of the upstarts take over the lead?