Data & Research

The enduring thematic flexibility of Merge games

Crunching the data with App Annie

The enduring thematic flexibility of Merge games

This article is part of an ongoing series of data-driven articles from and App Annie highlighting trends in the global mobile games sector using App Annie’s Game IQ analytics.

This enables mobile game developers to dig deeper into the data and discover not only which games are performing best but what characteristics they have.

This week we’re looking at the top 5 merge puzzle games in terms of their US downloads.

Still going strong

Launched as a category by the massive success of Gram Games’ Merge Dragons in 2017, there’s since been an explosion in such games.

Partly this is because of the simplicity of the gameplay, which employs a less goal-driven, more reflective approach to match-3. Significantly this is paired with a strong collection/building metagame, which makes these games surprisingly lucrative.

After all, Merge Dragons was the main reason Zynga acquired Gram Games for $250 million in 2018.

And the logic of that deal remains firmly in place with Merge Dragons still racking up US downloads in the #4 position.

The thematic flexibility of the category is also demonstrated by the rest of the chart; notably Word Game Studio’s Puppy Town, which swaps out fire-breathing lizards for something more cuddly.

Similarly Big Fish’s EverMerge - at #5 - brings the action into a fairy store theme.

And this ability to be applied to even abstract forms is reinforced by the presence of two number-centric games, which adding drop-style gameplay into the mix.

Game IQ is a vertically tailored analytics product, developed by App Annie, that provides insight into dimensions such as class, genre, subgenre and tags. Games can now be analyzed by broad category class (tuning), genre, subgenre, and tags (modifiers) such as IP, art style, settings, monetization mechanic, and more.

For more information register for a demo here regularly posts content from a variety of guest writers across the games industry. These encompass a wide range of topics and people from different backgrounds and diversities, sharing their opinion on the hottest trending topics, undiscovered gems and what the future of the business holds.


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