The Charticle: Temple Run 2 is mobile's fastest growing game, but how's it monetising?
In fact, the free-to-play title generated downloads at such a pace that Imangi Studios declared Temple Run 2 the "fastest growing mobile game" of all time.
The game has topped the download charts on the App Store, Google Play and the Amazon Appstore since its release on 17 January, but its performance on the grossing charts hasn't been quite so strong.
Within hours of launch, Temple Run 2 had climbed to #12 in the US App Store's top grossing games chart for iPhone.
In the days that followed, the game climbed as high as #2 in said charts, but was rebuffed time and again by the all-powerful Clash of Clans. Supercell's PVP city-builder has a deeply engaged and loyal audience, so it's unsurprising that Temple Run 2 was unable to dislodge it from the top-spot.
Since then, Temple Run 2's position in the top grossing games chart has been slipping, and it currently stands at #8, behind the likes of Candy Crush Saga, Rage of Bahamut and Hay Day.
Analytics graph showing Temple Run 2's performance on the US App Store's top free games chart. Analytics data courtesy of App Annie.
That's unquestionably impressive. But given Temple Run 2's status as the fastest growing mobile game of all time, it's interesting to observe that the game is still being out-earned.
As we looked at last week, there are some key differences between games in terms of their 'monetisation density'.
Harder on Android
On Android, it took Temple Run 2 little more than a day to top the download charts on Google Play, and Imangi's latest has been at #1 ever since.
However, Temple Run 2's performance in the top grossing games chart for Android has been a less impressive. It took Temple Run 2 the best part of a week to reach #15 in the grossing games rankings, and since then, its position has remained fairly stable.
Analytics graph showing Temple Run 2's performance on the US Google Play's top grossing charts. The yellow line represents grossing games chart position, while blue includes all apps.
To date, Temple Run 2's peak position on the US top grossing games chart for Google Play is #14.
It's currently being out-performed by Mobage hits such as Rage of Bahamut, Blood Brothers and Marvel War of Heroes, as well as Kabam's Kingdoms of Camelot and The Hobbit: Kingdoms, among others.
A look back
The original Temple Run was obviously a tremendous success, but not at launch.
Temple Run was released on the App Store in August 2011 as a paid game. It sold enough to peak at #33 in the top paid games chart and #133 in the top grossing games chart before dropping out of the rankings.
But, on 18 September 2011, Imangi Studios made Temple Run free, and the game soared through the charts, gathering momentum which peaked in early 2012.
Analytics graph showing Temple Run's performance on the US App Store's download charts. The red line represents top games chart position, while blue includes all apps.
During this time, Temple Run enjoyed 10-day stretches in pole position in the grossing charts, and spent almost two months in the top 10 free games rankings.
But times have changed. Temple Run never pushed its in-app purchases particularly hard, but its near-ubiquity allowed the game to generate revenues over and above its less popular App Store competitors.
Temple Run 2 shares many similarities with its predecessor, including this rather gentle brand of monetisation particularly when compared to the App Store's current crop of top-earners.
Non-paying players in Clash of Clans, for instance, will have to endure lengthier waits than their spendthrift neighbours, but Temple Run 2's non-payers will experience few negative consequences.
It goes to underline the rapid pace at which mobile games monetisation is developing.
For all of its downloads and fast growth, Temple Run 2 can't match its successors grossing charts performance. At least, not yet.
Pocket Gamer Connects Helsinki 2015 on 7-8 Sept.