Many developers focused on in-game collaboration events in an attempt to boost retention, and February saw several notable crossovers, according to a new report by GameRefinery.
Goddess of Victory: Nikke shot through the charts to become the 25th highest grossing game of the month in the US, thanks to a crossover with anime Chainsaw Man. Mobile Legends: Bang Bang also saw a notable boom, achieving its highest ever grossing rank in the US thanks to a crossover with anime Jujutsu Kaisen, which introduced a task-based Jujutsu Training event and limited-time gacha features.
In Japan, Puzzle and Dragons saw great success with its latest collaboration with the Gundam franchise, which added new mechanics to the game in the form of characters with additional elemental attributes.
Surprise smash hit Umamusume Pretty Derby raced to the number one spot of the download charts in Japan thanks to its second anniversary update, which included events, special campaigns, and a new training scenario.
Marvel Snap continued its strong performance with the introduction of PVP mechanics through the new Battle Round, which lets players face their friends in no-stakes multi-round battles. Although the game only offers a Friendly Battle option at present, GameRefinery notes that it expects “serious expansion of this new mode in the future.”
The game also kicked off a new season, Into the Quantum Realm, in collaboration with the theatrical release of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. The release sparked a wave of interest in the associated battle pass, with daily revenue rising by almost 600%.
A new approach to minigames?
X-Hero took a new approach to minigames within the main game, introducing a new user acquisition experience called Chess Wanted to replace the Save Doge mode in onboarding. While Save Doge still exists as part of X-Hero, newly onboarded players were required to play Chess Wanted as part of the initial tutorial, with Save Doge being available later. The game changed the minigame again at the start of March, replacing Chess Wanted with a new mode entitled StopThem.
February also saw GardenScapes hold the Secret Ingredient event, first announced in December. This mode involves merge mechanics, which Playrix have been actively pushing throughout its portfolio, with Township set to implement a mirrored merge event in March. Homescapes also previously implemented a similar event.
Undawn Vitality was singled out as a strong performer in China,entering the top ten in both the grossing and download charts. GameRefinery notes that “there is a certain level of resemblance to NetEase’s hit game, LifeAfter”, which could indicate that Tencent is hoping to ape that success with its own take on the survival genre.
We listed NetEase and Tencent as two of the top 50 mobile game makers of 2022.