The Charticle: Can King.com reign supreme on mobile?
Your weekly app store analysis
Although it's only launched two mobile games to date, King.com is already a big name in the mobile gaming scene.
After all, the company's a huge force in the world of social games, and at a time when more and more social studios are making the move to mobile, King.com's progress is of great interest to many.
The question, then, is whether King.com can replicate its social success on smartphones and tablets.
Long live the king
King.com's first iOS release – Bubble Witch Saga – was a reasonable success, but no runaway smash hit.
Bubble Witch broke into the top 200 grossing games chart on iPhone within a few days of release, and at its peak, it sat at #66 in the US App Store's top grossing games chart for iPhone.
Analytics graph showing Bubble Witch Saga's performance in the top grossing games chart for iPad in the US. Analytics data courtesy of App Annie.
Candy Crush Saga built on this success, breaking into the top 50 grossing games chart for iPhone just a couple of days after launch.
Candy Crush Saga
Within a few weeks of its release, Candy Crush Saga had broken into the top 10 grossing games chart, peaking at #9.
Interestingly, though, both Bubble Witch Saga and Candy Crush Saga consistently chart significantly higher in the iPad top grossing charts.
Even though King.com favours cross-platform compatibility over a 'tablet-first' strategy, iPad owners nonetheless are some of its most lucrative customers.
Bubble Witch Saga, for instance, is often found some 50 places higher in the top grossing iPad games chart than the iPhone equivalent, and has peaked as high as #23.
Analytics graph showing Bubble Witch Saga's performance in the top grossing games chart for iPad in the US. Note the slightly different scale to the iPhone charts.
Candy Crush Saga, meanwhile, launched on 15 November 2012. Since 19 November, the game has been a permanent resident in the top 25 top grossing games chart for iPad.
Whether it's a product of the increased screen real-estate on offer, or the subtly different userbase in play, King.com's portfolio seems to monetise more strongly on slates than smartphones.
In the green
On Android, the differences between smartphone and tablet players are harder to gauge, but King.com's success remains plain to see.
Although App Annie's analytics data suggests that Bubble Witch Saga didn't monetise particularly strongly on Android, Candy Crush Saga has been quickly climbing through the top grossing games charts over the last few weeks, rising from #414 to #18 in the US rankings.
Analytics graph showing Candy Crush Saga's rise through the Android top grossing games chart in the US.
And since King.com is actively cross-promoting its other titles within Candy Crush Saga, it seems likely that this success could soon translate into increased revenues from Bubble Witch Saga, too.
Finally, It's also worth noting that King.com's games routinely chart even higher in other key territories, ensuring the studio isn't solely reliant on US revenues.
The UK is a particularly strong region for the company, for instance, and the British Google Play store currently lists Candy Crush Saga as the top grossing application of any kind.
It's clear, then, that King.com's move on mobile is yielding positive results. But it's important to note that King.com hasn't abandoned social gaming in favour of mobile – instead, it's trying to bridge the gap between the two.
Bubble Witch Saga
In practice, this means that both Bubble Witch Saga and Candy Crush Saga synchronise progress and statistics seamlessly across Facebook, iOS and Android, ensuring that players can always pick up from where they left off.
It's a seemingly minor feature that King.com places a great deal of value in, and given the studio's success, it may be one that other developers will soon begin to value too.
Whatever happens, it seems clear that a truly cross-platform focus can pay dividends.
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