The Charticle

Which mobile football games are scoring highest in the grossing charts?

Which mobile football games are scoring highest in the grossing charts?

If you're watching Premier League football this weekend, you'll see Top Eleven on Stoke City players' sleeves and Angry Birds on those of Everton.

You may even see Score! Hero on advertising hoardings at the edges of the pitch.

It's fair to say, then, that mobile game companies are looking to leverage the enormous worldwide audience of football on a hitherto unseen scale.

But how are football games performing in the mobile grossing charts and are they fulfilling the obvious potential of the category?

Reigning champ

The granddaddy of free-to-play mobile football games is Top Eleven. The Jose Mourinho-fronted football management game launched way back in 2011 and has been a massive success for its Serbian developer Nordeus.

It's still providing good revenues for Nordeus, ranking 38th in the UK iPhone top grossing as of September 20th 2017.

Top Eleven's performance has become less consistent in 2017, its glory era being 2013 when it spent nearly a year inside the top 10, but even now it's a regular presence inside the top 100.

In its lifetime, it has topped iPhone grossing charts in 102 countries. This shows the potential of a successful mobile game based on a truly international sport.

Top Eleven remains undoubtedly the most successful free-to-play football management game, with Sega's Football Manager series sticking to the premium model on mobile - to an inconsistent but occasionally UK chart-topping grossing ranking - and Square Enix's Championship Manager 17 peaking at 38th in the UK iPhone grossing charts immediately after its release.

Console to mobile

From the market leader on mobile to the console football king, EA Mobile seemingly moved away from the yearly release model for its mobile FIFA games with last year's FIFA Mobile.

The strategy has worked out, with the game so far peaking at 15th in the UK iPhone grossing charts and sitting at 39th as of September 20th - just one place below Top Eleven.

The game has also performed surprisingly well in the US iPhone grossing charts, actually performing better than in the UK on January 9th when it hit a historic peak of 58th. It sits at 190th as of September 20th.

Still sticking with its yearly release schedule on mobile, despite a protracted soft launch period that saw it not going global until May, is the 2017 edition of Konami's long-time FIFA rival Pro Evolution Soccer.

PES 2017's performance in the UK iPhone grossing charts has been solid but unspectacular, peaking at 105th in June 2017 and positioned at 153rd on September 20th.

Performance in its native Japan paints a rosier picture, with the game ranking mostly within the top 50 on the country's iPhone grossing charts. Still flying high on September 20th, the game sat just outside the top 10 in 13th.

Underdogs

A company lacking the football legacy of Konami and EA Sports, but currently building its own on mobile, is UK studio First Touch Sports. With fewer than 20 people on staff, the company punches well above its weight in the space.

Score! Hero launched in 2015, hitting its historic peak of sixth in the UK iPhone grossing charts soon after, and has spent only a small handful of days outside the top 100 since its release. On September 20th 2017, it sat at 70th. 

First Touch Games is also behind Dream League Soccer 2017. Like Score! Hero, its UK iPhone grossing peak came soon after its launch, when it hit 29th. Since then, it's averaged between 100th and 200th, most recently ranking at 180th.

Dream League Soccer 2017 has topped the iPhone grossing charts in 34 countries.

Hoping it can join this group of highly-grossing football games is Miniclip's latest, Football Strike. The company has refined its formula of sports-based PvP in recent times and will hope that the world's favourite sport will prove a lucrative subject.

Only out since September 14th, the game quickly rose to 28th in the UK iPhone grossing charts on September 20th. If there's more growth to come, then Miniclip has a success on its hands.

But generally, it appears that the potential for football games on mobile remains largely unfulfilled. Top Eleven has shown the level of success that is possible, but the fact that the 2011 game is still leading the way speaks to a lack of real competition - with really only First Touch Games offering a title challenge at present.

FIFA in particular, given its utter dominance on console, has the potential to kick on even further in the mobile free-to-play space. FIFA Mobile was a good step forward, but what's next?

Regardless, it seems inevitable that there's more to come. Mobile developers are obviously interested in the space, and sooner or later a game will come along to offer Nordeus some sterner competition.

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.

Comments

No comments
View options
  • Order by latest to oldest
  • Order by oldest to latest
  • Show all replies
Important information

This site uses cookies to store information on your computer. By continuing to use our site, you consent to Steel Media's privacy policy.

Steel Media websites use two types of cookie: (1) those that enable the site to function and perform as required; and (2) analytical cookies which anonymously track visitors only while using the site. If you are not happy with this use of these cookies please review our Privacy Policy to learn how they can be disabled. By disabling cookies some features of the site will not work.