The Charticle

When it comes to Hearthstone's Asian success, Japan is the outlier

When it comes to Hearthstone's Asian success, Japan is the outlier

As announcements go, Blizzard's tweet that Hearthstone has gained 30 million users was off-beat.

But perhaps that's the sort of informal messaging we should expect from a company that's laser-focused on its games.

In the context of this week's Charticle, however, it would be nice to contextualise that number in terms of the breakdown between players of the PC, tablet and the recently released smartphone versions (and indeed those playing across multiple devices).

In its absence, we can only take look at how the game is grossing in various countries and markets.

In this scenario we'll be particularly looking at the reaction to the card-collection game in the Asian market, in which the CCG genre has been - and still is - highly lucrative.

Setting the standard

Looking at some of the key western markets to set the scene, we can clearly see that the April release of the iPhone version of Hearthstone has found strong success.

The game is a top 20 grossing app in France, Germany and the US, and a top 30 grossing app in the UK.

Looking at Google Play, the impact of releasing a smartphone version of the game can be more clearly seen.

Previously Hearthstone was only available for Android tablets: not a strong market.

The release of the phone version has seen Hearthstone boosted immediately into the top 10 grossing chart in Germany and France, while it's now in the top 20 in the UK and US.

Going east

Having set the scene for success, we'll take a look at the key Asian markets.

In China, Hearthstone has always been a strong performer on iPad; constantly within the top 20 grossing apps apart from one brief slide.

When it comes to the iPhone version, the game currently ranks within the top 30; a strong performance given the more competitive and more lucrative nature of iPhone compared to iPad.

Looking at Taiwan and Hong Kong - two markets similar but also different to China - the iPhone performance is strong, particular in Hong Kong.

With Google Play, the uptick following the release of smartphone version is obvious, with the game immediately hitting the top 20 grossing apps in both countries.

South Korea isn't as lucrative a market in terms of iPhone or iPad compared to Google Play, but the game has been generally in the top 10 grossing for both platforms.

Google Play is the dominant platform in Korea, and as with other countries, the smartphone release shows a massive uptick, with the game strongly within the top 20.

In fact, the only country in which Hearthstone hasn't been a success is the home territory of CCGs - Japan.

No doubt, this is because of the highly domestic character of the Japanese market, especially when it comes to genres that have a strong local history.

This can most clearly been seen by the fact that the scale for the following graphs has been reset from a top 50 (as with the previous graphs) into a top 500.

Contributing Editor

A Pocket Gamer co-founder, Jon is Contributing Editor at PG.biz which means he acts like a slightly confused uncle who's forgotten where he's left his glasses. As well as letters and cameras, he likes imaginary numbers and legumes.

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