Interesting story from www.pocketgamer.com which can serve as a case study of what is possible for a single successful free-to-play game. It’s city -building game “Megapolis” has a striking resemblance with “Virtual City Playground”, the bestseller of our top-pick G5 Entertainment.
“You’d be forgiven for not having heard of Social Quantum – an Eastern European publisher whose main successes to date have been games for Russian-language social networks. But, at the time of writing, Social Quantum’s city-building sim Megapolis is the ninth highest grossing game in the US App Store. What’s more, the game is Quantum’s English-language App Store debut. So how has the company found such success in an unfamiliar marketplace? We turned to the App Store data to find out.
Megapolis launched for the iPhone on 12 December 2012, with Megapolis HD launching for the iPad seven weeks later.
At launch, Megapolis climbed to #51 in the US App Store’s top free games chart before beginning to slide out of the rankings.
One month later, a spike in downloads propelled the game to #11, but it wasn’t long before installs trailed off again.
Then, on 15 March 2013, something happened.
Up until this point, Megapolis had typically been generating a couple of thousand of downloads each day. On 15 March, Megapolis racked up more than 210,000 downloads and shot into #1 in the free apps chart.
Graph showing Distimo’s download estimates for Megapolis (purple) and Megapolis HD (blue).
According to Distimo estimates, Megapolis HD also saw a significant spike in downloads, jumping to roughly 25,000 downloads and #5 in the top free app rankings. The next day, on 16 March, Megapolis generated another 190,000 downloads. On 17 March, the game accumulated more than 200,000 downloads again. It wasn’t until 18 March that installs began to drop off again, and not until a week or so later that downloads returned to normal levels.
But although downloads fell away fast, revenue continued to grow. According to Distimo’s figures, the iPhone version of Megapolis has generated in excess of $50,000 from the US App Store every day since 15 March. At its peak in late March, in fact, Megapolis generated more than $120,000 in a single day from the US alone.
In terms of chart position, this was enough to boost Megapolis into the top ten highest earning apps on the US App Store. On 28 March, the game was ranked at #3 on the top grossing games chart, behind the mighty Candy Crush Saga and Clash of Clans.
Analytics graph showing the iPhone version of Megapolis’ performance on the US App Store’s top grossing charts.
And the US isn’t the only market in which Social Quantum has found success. Megapolis reached the top 5 grossing games chart in 25 different countries, including France, Spain, Germany and the UK.
At the time of writing, Megapolis‘ daily downloads figure has fallen to an estimated 7,100 or so. Megapolis HD, meanwhile, is generating roughly 1,800 downloads a day. In terms of revenue, however, both titles are still performing strongly. Distimo’s most recent estimates suggest Megapolis for iPhone generated roughly $75,000 in the US yesterday, and its iPad sibling generated more than $40,000.
So although the download spike was short-lived, its effects have been lasting. Whatever method Social Quantum used to boost its ranking, it seems to have worked.”
Looking at Distimo’s estimates of Megapolis’ current revenues on iOS of USD 115,000 per day in the US, this shows what significant potential there is for G5 Entertainment. USD 115,000 equal roughly SEK 736,000 at current exchange rates. Per month, that equals SEK 22m – from one game in one country. As a reference, G5 Entertainment just recently published its preliminary Q1 2013 revenue of SEK 27m. Either by improving the monetization on its current free-to-play games or by launching new free-to-play games (in the best case: both!), G5 Entertainment could easily reach to these levels.
Recent management comments suggest that more free-to-play games are soon to be released and the focus on quality has been increased steadily during 2012 and early 2013. The longer the company is on the pitch, the higher its chances to hit a homerun at one stage. Be sure to bet on the right team.
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