The Charticle

How Heroes Charge charged up the top grossing charts in Germany, Russia, Korea and the US

Power of TV advertising

How Heroes Charge charged up the top grossing charts in Germany, Russia, Korea and the US

Thanks to some high profile TV advertising campaigns, 2015 has already been a big year for US developer uCool's Heroes Charge.

But as we can see in this week's Charticle, the side-scrolling F2P squad-based action RPG has been on the up since the autumn of 2014.

In that sense, uCool's advertising is merely the next stage in growing the scale of an already successful game.

And equally, despite the US-focus of the Super Bowl advertising, what's really interesting to see is its global reach.

Monetisation efficiency

But before we do that, it's worth just having a quick look at the game's monetisation efficiency.

To do this, we use some very simple equations.

The first one is what we call the US iPhone download success.

It's just the ratio of the number of countries Heroes Charge has been a top 10 most downloaded games compared to the number of countries in which it's been a top 100 most downloaded game.

This ratio is then divided by the game's peak download position in the US, giving a number with a maximum value of 1.

We do a similar process for iPad App Store and Google Play chart positions. Any result larger than 0.01 we treat as a successful game. 

As you'd expect, by this measure, the game has been a lot more successful on iPhone than iPad.

Heroes Charge has been more successful on iPhone but monetisese downloads more efficiently on iPad

Going through the same calculations for top grossing chart positions, we get another value with a maximum of 1. This time it's a measure of monetisation success.

Again, the iPhone is the lead platform for Heroes Charge.

However, combining the two numbers to get our efficiency measure - it's the top grossing number divided by the download number - we can see that Heroes Charge is much more efficient at monetising its iPad download than its iPhone downloads.

NB: the Google Play numbers can't be directly compared to the App Store numbers because of the different ways the two stores operate.

West rising

Looking at the key US market, Heroes Charge entered the top 100 top grossing iPhone market at the end of November, early December.

Its performance really took off, however, in early January, which was when uCool's original TV advertising campaign kicked off in the US and Europe.

It can also be clearly seen there was another big jump at the start of February when uCool's $2.5 million TV campaign started at the Super Bowl.

The game is now solidly performing in the top 40 - top 20 range.

Heroes Charge's performance in the US has been lifted by its TV ads

When we look at the key EU5 countries, we can see a split of performance between various regions.

Heroes Charge is performing best in Germany and France, with the game now in the top 20 in both. The German market marginally in the lead.

Looking at the Spanish market, the top grossing performance is more up and down, but the trend - like France and Germany - is strongly upwards, with Heroes Charge now solidly into the top 10 top grossing.

Looking at Heroes Charge's performance on the Italian and UK charts, we can see a highly peaky situation, with the game going high in the charts and then falling away again.

In some ways, this isn't a surprise for Italy, which is one of the less well-developed markets in the EU5. The UK performance is a surprise, however, as we'd expect the UK top grossing chart to ape the US top grossing chart.

Eastern glory

Our final 'European' chart to consider is the Russian chart.

Given the Russian audience's love of grind-y core PVP F2P game, Heroes Charge is a good fit and indeed, it entered the top 100 top grossing positions in September, and now finds itself as a top 10 top grossing game.

Considering Asian markets, the game isn't yet released in China; which is interesting given that the very similar (in gameplay terms) Dota Legends has been the #1 grossing game in China for much of 2014.

Heroes Charge hasn't found much traction in the Japanese market, spiking within the top 60 and then falling out again.

In South Korea, however - as in Russia - the game has been a big success from the start. It entered the top 10 in November 2014 and has been there ever since.

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.