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How did the launch of Dawn of Titans compare to CSR Racing 2?

How did the launch of Dawn of Titans compare to CSR Racing 2?

After almost two years in soft launch, Dawn of Titans was launched on December 8th.

For UK developer NaturalMotion, acquired by Zynga for $527 million back in 2014, the long-awaited strategy title is "not one of those things that's a make or break game."

However, after having so much time and money poured into its development, Dawn of Titans has inevtiably released with a burden of expectation weighing heavy on its shoulders. 

Out of the starting blocks

It's been out for just over a week so far, but how successful was the game's eventual launch?

According to App Annie's data, its early grossing performance has been pretty solid.

Dawn of Titans' top grossing performance, according to App Annie

After steadily rising from position #318 in the US overall iPhone top grossing chart on the day of its launch, Dawn of Titans hit what is currently its peak position of #38 on December 15th.

This equated to a high point of #24 within all games and #8 in the strategy genre.

But while one would expect Dawn of Titans to be a more niche proposition, if we go back to July 30th it's clear to see that NaturalMotion's previous release CSR Racing 2 enjoyed a better launch.

CSR Racing 2's top grossing performance in its first week

The street racing title went straight in at #20 on the top grossing charts, peaking at #18 on July 31st before levelling out in the twenties until the middle of August.

Barring a big boost, it's hard to see Dawn of Titans - which has already sunk to #62 in top grossing - maintaining that consistency. Though Zynga has previously said it hopes to see increased downloads over Christmas as people get new phones and look to try out new games, which could potentially see a boost in its popularity, if backed by a marketing campaign.

CSR Racing 2 remains comfortably in the top 50 (#43) at the time of writing.

Pole position

In this regard, it benefits a great deal from being in a far less competitive genre than Dawn of Titans. To reach #8 grossing among all strategy games on iPhone is an achievement in itself, meaning that Dawn of Titans - temporarily, at least - outperformed some well-established titles.

CSR Racing 2, meanwhile, has been the top grossing racing game on iPhone consistently since its launch, with no equivalent of Clash of Clans in the racing genre to contest its position.

But the most concerning aspect of all this for NaturalMotion and Zynga will be that Dawn of Titans actually performed better in the downloads department in its first week than CSR Racing 2.

Dawn of Titans hit a high point of #24 in the download charts in its first week, whereas CSR Racing 2 failed to get any higher than #65 in the same period.

This means that CSR Racing 2 made more money than Dawn of Titans with fewer users, suggesting that the latter's revenues are set to drop even further when players inevitably churn.

Titanic revenues?

But let's dig deeper into those revenues. What sort of return have NaturalMotion and Zynga got from their considerable investment so far?

Combining the revenue estimates given by Apptopia across both iOS and Android, it appears that the game generated around $880,554 between December 8th and 18th.

Predictably, the vast majority - nearly $760,000 - of this came from the App Store. It should be noted however that these revenues are only an indication of how well Dawn of Titans may be performing, as Apptopia does not have official figures.

Dawn of Titans' iOS revenue trajectory, according to Apptopia

The only question is whether this will be enough for Zynga and NaturalMotion, especially as the former remains loss-making despite strong performance in social casino.

Right now, based on App Annie and Apptopia's data, it seems unlikely that Dawn of Titans will reach the same heights as CSR Racing 2.

But in what's sure to be a long life for the game, there are certainly still respectable revenues to be made from a title that's so far competed admirably in mobile gaming's toughest genre.

Features Editor

Matt is really bad at playing games, but hopefully a little better at writing about them. He's Features Editor for PocketGamer.biz, and has also written for lesser publications such as IGN, VICE, and Paste Magazine.

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