Hot Five: Activision Blizzard’s app store alternative, Google Play’s download dominance and a 3D Candy Crush

Our quick-fix roundup of the hottest stories on PocketGamer.biz

Hot Five: Activision Blizzard’s app store alternative, Google Play’s download dominance and a 3D Candy Crush

Start your week right, with our quick take on the stories that are impacting the mobile industry right now.

To help get you primed and ready for another week in mobile gaming, we’ve curated the biggest stories you need to know from the last seven days.

1) Activision Blizzard, Epic Games and Supercell considered forming a Google Play competitor

Via the ongoing court case between Epic and Google it has emerged that Epic, Supercell and Activision Blizzard were in talks about forming their own app store as a competitor to Google Play. In time it would have landed on Apple too, but initially the idea was to trial Supercell games like Candy Crush on the hypothetical competitive store.

This store would have enabled developers to sideload games on Android for a 10% to 12% fee - bringing in more dollars for the three gaming goliaths while giving smaller developers an alternative to the 30% Google fee.

2) Q3's biggest genres saw 700% more downloads on Google Play than Apple App Store

Apptica and Gamelight teamed up to assess the state of the games industry in Q3 2023, finding that casual games continue to reign supreme. Notably, Android users were far more enthused by arcade and educational games while Apple enjoyers showed more of an appreciation for word games.

Across the top genres, the report showed a striking download disparity between the platforms, with Google Play installs surpassing the Apple App Store’s by 700%.

3) Candy Crush to lose its crown in 2024? But overall mobile game revenues will be up

The latest data.ai report is full of predictions for 2024, chief among them the potential loss of King’s mobile authority. After all, based on current trends it will be TikTok on top this time next year as the highest revenue-generating app.

If Candy Crush is dethroned, it should at least remain the biggest mobile game of 2024. data.ai is placing its bets on Pokémon Go ranking second for games, while Roblox should round out the top three.

"Next year will unleash the next wave of innovation in AI and cement how we consume content," data.ai head of insights Lexi Sydow added.

4) Former Activision Blizzard CEO supports GameTree's $1.7M seed round for AI app to unite gamers

AI-leveraged platform GameTree has raised $1.7 million in seed funding to develop its psychology-based tool for inclusive and non-toxic video game communities. Corazon Capital, Full Stack Ventures, Goodwater Capital, 32-Bit Ventures and Expert Dojo participated in the round, as did former Activision Blizzard CEO Coddy Johnson.

It has been estimated that 70% of players have suffered from toxic behaviour online at least once during a gaming session, and as many as 21% experience it every time they play, so GameTree’s goal to offer avoidance of toxic players would clearly have its benefits.

5) King soft launch Candy Crush 3D: Is their next crowning victory on its way?

King has soft launched Candy Crush 3D in stealth with no grand unveiling but rather a quiet release on the Google Play Store in Malaysia. There’s plenty of mouthwatering, sugary content to dive into already with match-3 puzzles, shiny candies and, of course, a three-dimensional twist.

Candy Crush is already the biggest mobile app of all time, so will a 3D game modelled on such a base, by the same studio, be the perfect recipe for sustaining King’s mobile crown?

News Editor

Aaron is the News Editor at PG.biz and has an honours degree in Creative Writing.
Having spent far too many hours playing Pokémon, he's now on a quest to be the very best like no one ever was...at putting words in the right order.