The Charticle

Wrong genre, bad timing: The top grossing performance of Minions Paradise

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Wrong genre, bad timing: The top grossing performance of Minions Paradise

Given the success Gameloft generated with its endless runner Minions Rush, there was plenty of anticipation when it was announced that EA had gained the licence for the Minions animated film.

With the precedent of its +$100 million The Simpsons: Tapped Out franchise, and a massive brand reach of the Minions IP, we expected Minions Paradise to be one of 2015's key branded games.

But something seems to have gone awry.

Not only was it in soft launch for six months, the game - a resource management title in which you build a paradise island for the Minions - wasn't released in July alongside the film.

Indeed, it only crept out on app stores in mid-October, three months later.

Of course, that's not to say the game couldn't be a success. EA has announced it generated almost 17 million downloads in its first two weeks.

But how has it done on the world's top grossing charts? Our Charticle will tell all.

Building paradise

Considering its performance on iPhone in the key English-speaking territories, Minons Paradise has struggled to find a regular paying audience in multiple countries.

Only in the UK did it enter the top 100; a position it's since kept, demonstrating the strength of the brand in the UK.

In the US, Canada and Australia, however, the game has bounced around, generally around the top 300 position; not the place you'd expect to see it.

The situation is better for EA when we consider key European countries France and Germany. Here it entered the top 100 and remained there, at least for a week or so.

More recently, though, the game has nose-dived into the top 200.

We can see this performance more clearly on the Google Play Store top grossing chart, which because of the way Google generates its charts shows a less volatile positions.

In Europe - UK, France and Germany - the game sits in the top 100, but is starting to decline.

As for the US, Canada and Australia, the game hasn't made much progress into the top 200 and now is also starting to slip.

Eastern promise

Minions Paradise hasn't been released in China yet, so we're use Taiwan and Hong Kong to provide some idea of how the game is performing in that market.

In terms of the big three Asian markets, it's doing best in South Korea, where it's had a good run in the iPhone top 100 grossing chart, although it should be pointed out that iOS is a minority in this heavily Android-dominated market.

Minions Paradise also performed relatively well in westernised Hong Kong, although recently dropping outside the top 200.

The game hasn't found any traction in either Japan or Taiwan.

Looking at Google Play, things are different with Hong Kong and Taiwan being more lucrative market for the game, but in both cases, it's outside the top 100.

More generally, it can't be said that Minions Paradise has made much of an impact in Asia.

Takeaway

Obviously, some of this performance has to result from the delay to Minions Paradise's launch in terms of syncing with the big summer movie.

Yet, even given this, the relative weakness of the game in markets such as the US, Canada and Australia suggests that its underlying monetisation - which is a somewhat complex combination of two soft and one hard currencies - has also played a part.

Of course, the bigger question of the age range - and spending power - of the audience, compared to successful IP games in the same management genre, such as The Simpsons: Tapped Out and Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff , has also played a major part.

In this way, it looks like the takeaway from Minions Paradise could be wrong genre, bad timing.

Contributing Editor

A Pocket Gamer co-founder, Jon is Contributing Editor at PG.biz 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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Kamen Kanchev Senior Global Product Manager at Gameloft
Somehow I find it difficult to comprehend how some people think they can sell tycoon-type game to kids. Maybe they inferred wrongly that Simpsons are a kids cartoon, which IMO is not for a long time. Sure, they may reach some secondary audience like mothers and young ladies, but indeed offering wrong genre to the core, without single action is quite.... strange...

Not to mention the game left the soft launch way after the movie release, which BTW was not really successful, so yep, bad bad timing.

And of course, as Hyman said, their currency system is difficult to understand event to adults, so what about to kids? :)
Hyman Ho Market Manager
The currency system is hard to understand at first glance.
jon jordan
I totally agree