The Charticle

Can New Words With Friends continue the franchise's success?

New game, same words

Can New Words With Friends continue the franchise's success?

After the success of its sociable spelling game, Words With Friends, Zynga has decided to see if lightning does in fact strike twice by releasing an new version of the socially astute linguistical puzzler, creatively titled New Words With Friends.

Building on the success of its predecessor, New Words With Friends - which, crucially, is backwards compatible - adds new features such as performance tracking, community matches, and an offline mode.

By breathing new life into one of its flagship titles Zynga will be hoping it can once again climb to the top of the App Store and bring home the bacon.

(To encourage new players, it's removed the original game from the App Store too.)

Those hopes aren't exactly unfounded either, with the game's uber-successful soft launch surely convincing the Zynga higher-ups that they've got another hit on their hands. 

However, because the game monetises using advertisements, we're unable to track its performance on the grossing charts.

Instead, by looking at its efforts on the download charts we should be able to deduce whether or not it's an App Store high flyer.

New friends

So far it's been plain sailing for New Words With Friends in the US, with Zynga's effort shooting straight to the top of the download chart within days of release.

The game entered the iPhone chart at #33 before quickly moving into the top 10, where it has remained ever since. A peak position of #2 highlights the game's good performance.

New Words With Friends is looking very good on the US iPhone download charts

New Words With Friends has put in another good performance in the UK, where it's been a top 50 contender.

Although it can't quite match its US counterpart in terms of consistency, or chart position, a peak position of #28 combined with a 12 day stay in the top 50 shows the brand still has clout.

New Words With Friends has looked stable inside the UK top 50

Pre-launch intelligence

In terms of other English language countries, we've increased the longevity of our charts to consider the soft launch for New Words With Friends in New Zealand, Australia, Canada and Ireland. 

It soft launched first in New Zealand back in April, peaking high. Similarly it hit #1 in the Austrialian download chart in September.

Yet when the global launch was rolled out, the game quickly fell out of the New Zealand top 100 and fell down the Australian chart, although remaining in the top 40. 

Performances in New Zealand and Australia are mixed

It's been a similar picture in Ireland and Canada, where high peaks during the soft launch period haven't been reflected during the global roll out.

In Ireland, for example, the game had a successful soft launch and shot into the top 10, peaking at #4, however, following its official release, it has failed to trouble the top 50, or stay in the top 100 for over a week.

New Words With Friends hasn't found much of audience recently in Ireland

Over in Canada it's a similar tale, and New Words With Friends' showing inability to scale the top 100, despite another promising soft launch.

It's been  a similar story in Canada, where New Words With Friends hasn't maintained momentum

Of course, in these soft launch territories, one issue is that Zynga would have heavily supported the soft launches with marketing; something that doesn't yet appear to have been put into place following the global release.

Meanwhile, the more fundamental issue is how long - if ever - it will take for players of the old version of the game to update to the new version.

What do you call someone who has an unhealthy obsession with video games and Sean Bean? That'd be a 'Chris Kerr'. Chris is one of those deluded souls who actually believes that one day Sean Bean will survive a movie. Poor guy.