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Google Play or App Store? June data shows stark contrast in platform popularity of paid games

Curated Data.ai stats reveal the most downloaded paid games and top revenue generators per platform
Google Play or App Store? June data shows stark contrast in platform popularity of paid games
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By gathering data from mobile data analytics platform Data.ai, we at PocketGamer.biz have taken a look back at the state of the mobile gaming industry in June 2023. More specifically, we used Data.ai's data to curate a list of the mobile games to have generated the most revenue around the world last month, and the paid games with the highest volume of downloads.

Perhaps our most interesting discovery is the divergence between Apple’s App Store and the Google Play Store, as while both saw the same title take the crown for paid downloads, there were a number of notable variations in which titles were installed the most and generated the most revenue.

It is also worth noting that not one of the top 10 pay-to-download games touched the top 10 revenue earners of the month, really emphasising how free-to-play (and free-to-start) games have found dominance in the mobile sector when it comes to making money.

Different stores for different folks

Among paid games in June, it was Minecraft that came out on top of both stores’ downloads charts, but differences began as of second place. On the Play Store, Bloons TD 6 was the second-most popular, pushed from the pinnacle by Minecraft after reaching the summit in May. Meanwhile on the App Store, Bloons ranked fifth.

As for the App Store’s second-most popular paid game, Geometry Dash advanced into second for downloads – up one ranking from May – and yet didn’t place anywhere on the Play Store’s top 10.

In fact, Minecraft, Five Nights at Freddy’s and Monopoly – Classic Board Game were the only titles in the top 10 to appear on both stores’ lists, showing a real variation between install preferences of iOS and Android owners. Other popular titles on Google Play were Stardew Valley, Grand Theft Auto titles and Terraria, where Plague Inc and Heads Up were more popular on the App Store.

Raking in revenue

On the revenue side, the top 10 games were significantly more consistent across platforms, though their positions varied. In fact it was the top revenue earner for each platform with the most notable variance.

Honor of Kings generated the most revenue on the App Store, whereas the game didn’t even rank on Google Play. Even so, the Chinese game’s success on iOS continues to contribute to mobile’s 70 percent share of China’s total gaming revenue. Honor of Kings' developer TiMi Studio Group is owned by Tencent, who ranked highly on our Top 50 Mobile Game Makers list in 2022.

It was Moon Active’s Coin Master that led the charge on the Play Store, and unlike Honor of Kings, it did appear on both lists – coming in ninth for revenue on iOS. The Israeli mobile games giant announced plans to acquire Zen Match from Turkish developer Good Job Games last December, as well as its associated Istanbul-based team.

Much more aligned, Candy Crush Saga came second on both stores, having risen the ranks on Google Play and staying stable on the App Store. With the title’s legacy and ongoing success, it’s no wonder Microsoft is so interested in Activision Blizzard’s mobile arm, which includes Candy Crush developer King.

Roblox and Royal Match came fourth and fifth respectively on both platforms in regards to June revenues, with the former having recently implemented generative AI to ease the creation process and encourage more users to build upon its world.

Gardenscapes featured in both lists, as did the recently released Honkai: Star Rail. The latest game from Genshin Impact developer miHoYo, Star Rail has already seen incredible success, smashing records by reaching 20 million downloads on its release day.

Rounding off the list, Pokémon Go came in tenth on both stores, proving its longevity in what was the month before its seventh anniversary. Now available in over 150 countries, Go is the clear Pokémon priority for any player who still wants to catch ‘em all.