The Charticle

The Charticle: The slow-growing success of Plants vs Zombies 2

The Charticle: The slow-growing success of Plants vs Zombies 2
It was highlighted as EA's biggest mobile launch ever.

But despite its over 16 million downloads, just how commercially successful has Plants vs Zombies 2 been in the three weeks since it was released on iOS?

Using our brains

Looking at the iPhone version, it's been a top 100 top grossing app in 100 countries, going top 10 in 29.

And in the key US market, its top grossing peak position is 16.

Looking at the iPad version, the game's performed better, going top 100 in 117 countries and top 10 in 44.

Its US top grossing app position is 11.

Plants vs. Zombies has performed better on the iPad than iPhone in terms of the US top grossing app chart, but it's gone straight into the top 20 for both formats - via App Annie

Some math

We can then plug these figures into the basic equation that's part of's Monetizer analytics.

This gives us a Success coefficient for iPhone of (29/100)/16 = 0.018.

For iPad it's (44/117)/11 = 0.034.

We take 0.1 as our benchmark for a game's commercial success, but this can only be applied to mature titles several months after launch, which is obviously not the case for Plants vs Zombies 2.

(To read more about how we came up with these equations and what they do and don't mean, please check out my original Monetizer article).

Last week's figures

Indeed, we can get another look at how Plants vs Zombies 2 is performing day-to-day, because it was the subject of last week's Monetizer.

Then the iPhone version had a score of 0.011 and the iPad version 0.016, so we can see that the game is still on an upward path in terms of global top grossing markets, even if it hasn't improved on its US top grossing position during this period.

The improvement is particularly marked in terms of the number of countries in which the iPad version has gone top 100; it's improved from 18 to 44.

Better than Homer?

Of course, when we compare the game to EA's current best earner The Simpsons: Tapped Out, the difference in time since release is the biggest factor.

Released in August 2012, and hitting the #1 top grossing position in the US on both iOS platforms, the iPhone version of The Simpsons: Tapped Out scores 0.88, while the iPad version scores an almost perfect 0.95.

The Android version (not released until 2013) scores 0.37.

Whether Plants vs Zombies 2 can build to such a level - notably in a much more competitive market than which The Simpsons had to deal with - remains something we'll be keeping our eye on over the coming months.

It's off to a good start, though.
Russian iPad owners are spending money in Plants vs. Zombies 2 going top 20 as can be seen via App Annie's top grossing chart.

The game hasn't performed as well on iPad in South Korea. It dropping out of the top 50.

Plants vs. Zombies 2 hasn't yet caught the imagination or wallets of Japanese iPad players where it's now out of the top 300.

Contributing Editor

A Pocket Gamer co-founder, Jon is Contributing Editor at which means he acts like a slightly confused uncle who's forgotten where he's left his glasses. As well as letters and cameras, he likes imaginary numbers and legumes.


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