When Supercell labelled Boom Beach, its “risky” third game, it was hard to know if this was an example of arch Finnish wit, or just conventional Finnish humility.
Whichever, it’s now fair to say that the “risk” has paid off.
Boom Beach is a global top 10 top grossing iOS game.
How successful is it compared to Clash of Clans, however?
In one key respect, the comparison can not yet be made. Clash of Clans was released in the summer of 2012 and took many months to build up its audience.
Even fuelled by massive Apple promotion and the millions of dollars in Supercell’s user acquisition warchest, Boom Beach hasn’t yet been a No. 1 top grossing game in any major western country.
Indeed, such is the success of Clash of Clans, Candy Crush Saga and Game of War, it might be many months before it breaks that duck.
Yet, making the comparison between the two games is interesting.
Combining my original Success rank (based on peak top grossing chart position indexed to the US market) with a Popularity rank (based on peak download chart position), I’ve come up with a Monetisation Efficiency rank.
Simply put, it’s the Success ranking divided by the Popularity ranking.
It works because we’re looking to see how well a game is converting its peak position in the download charts to its position in the top grossing chart.
In this way we’re comparing a measure of revenue to a measure of downloads, or more crudely, revenue to downloads.
So let’s have a look at how Clash of Clans and Boom Beach stack up.
As we can see, for iPhone and iPad, Clash of Clans has a Popularity (DL) ranking of 0.15.
Surprisingly, this is because the game was never a total success in terms of peak downloads. It only reached the number 5 position in the US on iPad, for example.
However, when we consider Success (TG), it has a perfect score on 1 on iPhone and is almost perfect on iPad.
It’s a similar situation on Google Play, with a lower ‘download’ ranking (Google Play’s chart position is more complex than pure downloads, also looking at retention and churn), but an almost perfect Success ranking too.
The result is that when we construct our Monetisation Efficiency ratio, Clash of Clans scores over 6.5 on iOS and 40 on Google Play.
(Note: because of the differences in how the iOS and Google Play charts are worked out, using this measure, we can’t compare across platforms, only compare games within platforms.)
Fighting on the beaches
That’s what Boom Beach needs to measure up to.
The first surprising thing to note is that in terms of Popularity, it ranks higher than Clash of Clans.
Note, I’m not saying it’s been downloaded more times. This is a ratio not a measure of absolute downloads. But Boom Beach has ranked higher on more global iOS downloads charts than Clash of Clans.
Because top grossing position takes longer to build up, the game ranks lower, much lower than Clash of Clans, however.
Of course, this Success ranking will change over time. Whether Boom Beach ever reaches the number 1 for iPad in the US is uncertain, but what is certain is this Success ranking will increase.
And it's already higher than any other game released in 2014, as we'll see in future weeks.
Obviously, we’ll have to revisit this article in the coming months too, as well as looking at the game’s performance on Google Play, when the Android version is released.
This is important to point out, because - as I’ve always stressed - these Monetiser columns are more about building a process, or various processes, to help us analyse what’s going on both in terms of the app ecosystem as well as comparing individual games and companies.
In this case, we’re looking more at how the games perform in the app ecosystem, but we’ll also being doing a gameplay test of Boom Beach to make a direct comparison to Clash of Clans in terms of monetisation techniques.