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Merge-2 revenue surges 10% while Match-3 flops by 11%

AppMagic data shows the highs and lows of February 2024, from revenue to downloads to winning events
Merge-2 revenue surges 10% while Match-3 flops by 11%
  • AppMagic’s latest digest delves into Merge-2 and Match-3 games
  • Merge-2 revenue was up 10% in February while Match-3 fell by 11%
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Data analyst AppMagic’s latest digest delves deep into the puzzle genre and, more specifically, the metrics of Merge-2 and Match-3 games.

From events to trends to the strongest monetisation tactics for the genre, insights show that Merge-2 is on the up right now while Match-3 is going through a decline.

Merging and matching

Merge-2’s installs were only up by 2% in February, significantly less than the 32% jump in January. More impressive for February was revenue acceleration, which saw a 10% surge and outpaced the uptick seen during the 2023 holiday season. AppMagic highlights the reskin of Merge Mansion’s Lucky Catch Winner event among February’s successes, "accounting for a 55% revenue spike beforehand".

With Gossip Harbor’s Harrison’s Big Catch event too, AppMagic foresees fishing events becoming "trendy in Western markets" this year, as is already the case in Asia. Fishing events often offer bundles for event items like fishing rods, giving a boost consumer spending.

However, while Merge-2 has been on a rising tide, Match-3 flopped in February. The subgenre went through an 11% revenue fall despite the broader casual market’s "stable earnings during the peak season", and downloads fell by an even more extreme 27% - back to pre-holiday numbers.

Adding extras to sustain interest

AppMagic notes that Match-3 titles like Gardenscapes has started to use "complementary events" designed to enhance specific metrics of a "main event", such as offering extra milestone rewards or accelerating player progress to boost engagement.

Gardenscapes’ Explorers’ Race, for example, was launched twice in February with progress tied to participating in the simultaneous Expedition event. This led to a 26% revenue spike.

Royal Match, meanwhile, saw a 42% revenue spike during its reintroduced Dragon Nest event, which took place over two weekends.

Overall, this suggests that short and competitive events are an effective way of boosting engagement from players, while complementary events increase interest in a game’s main event.

3D match-3 game Match Factory surpassed 20 million downloads this February, in time for its six-month anniversary.