Data.ai’s monthly gaming pulse rounds up analysis on the latest releases and highlights the breakout hits of tomorrow. And in advance of the official release PocketGamer.biz have got an early look at all the latest facts, figures and finds.
Their data covers trends and movement in the top charts across the leading gaming markets and is the perfect way to compare how each game (and their publishers) are faring and make predictions for the months ahead.
October 2023 kicked off Q4 with notable new releases, sequels to popular franchises, console to mobile adaptations and RPG fandom driving seasonal demand. Country-specific preferences emerged with significant shuffles in the breakout downloads and spend charts.
October 2023’s Breakout Games by Download
So which games saw the greatest growth in October? Topping the chart is Gacha Life 2. This new entry at top is the sequel to the previous beloved dress-up game and as such had a latent audience of fans awaiting its arrival. In its first four weeks it’s been downloaded around 64.7 million times globally. Downloads covered a vast global footprint including the United States, Brazil, Russia, Mexico, and the United Kingdom.
In fact, during this period it topped download charts in 10 markets (United States, Brazil, Russia, Mexico, United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Spain, Canada, France). The game has yet to pick up momentum for IAP monetization, as the app serves as a platform for user-generated content for monetization through video sharing platforms such as YouTube or TikTok.
Also notable is the presence of iconic gaming series Mortal Kombat whose Mortal Kombat: Onslaught takes the number three spot for breakout games and also secured its place in the top 10 by worldwide downloads at number nine.
Since its launch, the game has been downloaded around 10.2 million times globally across markets including the United States, Brazil, Mexico, Germany, and Colombia. The game has also done well in monetization, where it surpassed $1.17 million in consumer spend globally. Leading markets that contributed to consumer spend share being the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, and Australia.
October 2023’s Most Popular Mobile Games by Downloads
For October 2023, we see some of the rising stars appear alongside long standing favorites. Free Fire ranked number three globally with over 1.42 billion downloads and counting since 2017. Real Car Driving: Race City 3D was another standout at number by global downloads. The sim racing game topped download charts in 10 markets across three different continents including Egypt, Colombia, Algeria, South Africa, Venezuela, and Romania, among others.
Block Blast Adventure Master, a puzzler/tile-matcher, was launched in March 2022. The game has done particularly well in India, United States, Brazil and Indonesia.
Breakout Games by Consumer Spend
Team Battle RPG Reverse: 1999 showed the most radical blast up the charts, moving up 452 places to number five for consumer spend. The game invested heavily into paid user acquisition with nearly seven of every 10 downloads coming from paid sources. It was also one of our games of the week in October, showing that great gameplay and ingenuity can go a long way too.
While the game has been available in some markets since May 2023, its official worldwide release was October 25, 2023 in English and in September for Korean and Japanese. During this time, the title has been downloaded nearly 20 million times globally with large concentrations in the US, Taiwan, South Korea, China, and Japan and has raked in nearly $32 million in its first couple of months.
China occupied the lions’ share of spending to date at 78% of all spend in the game, followed by Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, the US and Hong Kong respectively. In the US, a $99.99 in-app purchase of Crystal Drops drove nearly 20% of all revenue, followed by varying packs ranging from $4.99 to $19.99 (each accounting for roughly 10% of total spend).
In October we saw high spenders in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau rally behind newly released racing competitive racing game, 巔峰極速. The game is published by LongE, headquartered in Taiwan, and took the number six spot for top breakout games by worldwide consumer spend.
Since its launch on iOS on Oct 17, 2023, the game has only been downloaded around one million times globally, yet surpassed an impressive $11 million, translating to a spend per download of $11 with 95% of spend coming from iPhone devices. 巔峰極速 is therefore an impressive case study for the power of tailoring a game to lucrative markets and reaching success globally.
Most Popular Mobile Games by App Store Consumer Spend
While launch activity and UA pushes can have a major influence on the breakout charts, the top charts for consumer spend are far more stable with player loyalty playing a huge role in the staying power of the top games.
Therefore ‘old’ favourites such as Royal Match and Monopoly GO retained the number one and number two rank for consumer spend respectively, both driven by engaging gameplay and popularity.
Honkai: Star Rail saw a boost in spend climbing five places to number six thanks to the October 10 release of Version 1.4 “Jolted Awake From a Winter Dream” which introduced new characters Jingliu (Destruction: Ice), Topaz & Numby (The Hunt: Fire), Guinaifen (Nihility: Fire), New maps, light cones and new stories such as Trailblaze Mission and Companion Mission and new Events: Aetherium Wars, Planar Infinity, Gift of Odyssey, Realm of the Strange. Then, on October 24, they also announced new events for Volume 2 of the 1.4 version.
Events and timely campaigns help drive re-engagement and spur consumer spend in fresh new story lines and new characters. Honkai: Star Rail has surpassed $750 million in spend to date, and is well on its way to joining the coveted Billion Dollar Club.
Monster Strike, another longtime standing member in the top grossing games, and the game took the number seven spot for global consumer spend, up five places from September, Monster Strike is nearly entirely driven by spend in Japan, surpassing $10.5 billion to date and is the number one game by spending of all time, all coming solely from Japanese consumers.