July 2023 was a massive month for new releases and crossovers

GameRefinery analyses the performance of the mobile gaming market throughout the month

July 2023 was a massive month for new releases and crossovers

July proved to be yet another great month for the mobile gaming market, with some of the biggest franchises in gaming getting big updates or new entries, according to GameRefinery’s latest report.

Pokémon Sleep, which aims to promote healthy sleeping patterns among users, proved to be a smash hit, while Activision Blizzard capitalised on the successful launch of Diablo IV with a new update to Diablo Immortal, including the first new character class, the blood knight in the franchise in almost a decade. This release resulted in a 400% increase in daily downloads on iOS.

Monopoly GO! Continued its successful streak with the release of its first cooperative event, Baking Partners, which led to daily iOS revenue almost doubling, despite no notable impact on downloads.

Several popular IPs held collaborations with a variety of mobile games. Among these were Barbie, which celebrated the release of the hit movie with a Stumble Guys Crossover, and Dragon Ball Z, which held a crossover with PUBG Mobile almost a year following its initial announcement.

The Dragon Ball Z crossover included a new character gacha, task events, and two new modes. The first, Battle Royale: Dragon Ball Super, replaced PUBG Mobile’s traditional gameplay with an anime-style battleground including iconic characters from the series. The other, Dragon Ball Super, introduced aspects of the anime, such as the ability to find dragon balls hidden across the map, while maintaining PUBG Mobile’s core gameplay.

Moonton’s tower defence RPG Watcher of Realms proved successful in the USA, hitting the top 50 highest grossing charts, while Space Ape’s Chrome Valley Customs steadily grew, approaching the top 100. Despite a promising start, Harry Potter: Magic Awakened fell radically in performance following its July launch, while DC Heroes and Villains failed to break into the top 200 despite featuring popular characters such as Batman, Superman, and Harley Quinn.

Sleeper hits

In Japan, Pokémon Sleep proved to be a particular success, being the most downloaded game in the market for the month. This success was driven in part with a collaborative event with Pokémon GO, which allowed players to receive a special Snorlax by linking the Pokémon GO Plus + Accessory.

Japan also saw massive success with Dragon Ball Legends, which introduced a new gacha character, Super Saiyan God SS Vegito. Thanks in part to the low drop rate of 0.350%, as well as the fact that players needed duplicate pulls to upgrade the character, daily revenue spiked 2000%.

Justice Mobile, the mobile adaptation of NetEase’s flagship MMORPG Justice Online, proved hugely successful in China, ranking third in terms of revenue and second in terms of downloads. Action RPG Crystal of Atlan also had a strong showing for the month, sitting in the five top-grossing and fifteen most downloaded titles for the month.

We listed several of the companies in this article as some of the top 50 mobile game makers of 2022. We’ll be unveiling our list for 2023 at our event at Gamescom on August 22.

Staff Writer

Lewis Rees is a journalist, author, and escape room enthusiast based in South Wales. He got his degree in Film and Video from the University of Glamorgan. He's been a gamer all his life.