China App Index: Mad for Mid-core: Card Games Collect Gamers


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Following the huge domestic success of I'm MT, Chinese publishers are crazy for mid-core games, especially ones that use card-collecting elements to drive gameplay.

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China App Index: Mad for Mid-core: Card Games Collect Gamers

  1. 1. Wandoujia China’s Android app store The China App Index December 2013 on Ball et Drag Pock Top Trend: Mad for Mid-core: Card Games Collect Gamers
  2. 2. Top Trends in December 2013 1 2 3 Mad for Mid-core: Card Games Collect Gamers Good Games Don’t Die Young Traveling Gets Personal
  3. 3. 1 Mad for Mid-Core: Card Games Collect Gamers “Mid-core” games have emerged in a niche between hardcore dragon-slaying RPGs and casual puzzle and side-scrolling runner games. These games synthesize casual gameplay that hooks players early and immersive game worlds that keep them interested longer. And the chart toppers have one thing in common: card collecting. Three Kingdoms 15 (三国志15) Monthly Downloads: 105k
 Three Kingdoms 15 takes second place among new games with 105,000 downloads by combining the popular Three Kingdoms story with a simple battle system employing hero cards.
  4. 4. 1 Mad for Mid-Core: Card Games Collect Gamers A huge and sustained domestic hit, I’m MT enjoys some of the highest retention among games in China. Five of the Top 10 New Games on Wandoujia have adopted its approach to mid-core, incorporating card game elements as a means of simplifying more involved genres. All together, these 5 games garnered 332,000 downloads. Papa Three Kingdoms (啪啪三国) Monthly Downloads: 62k
 Papa Three Kingdoms delivers it all: a 3D world for your character to explore, hero cards for easy management of armies, and vividly animated battles reminiscent of RTS games.
  5. 5. 1 Mad for Mid-Core: Card Games Collect Gamers Collectable card games was a $4.1 billion business in 2013 according to SuperData Research, and the burgeoning digital card game market accounted for a 32% increase in that number over the previous year. “Digital card game players outspent physical card players by 9% every month in 2012, and estimates suggest they will continue to do so over the next several years.” It’s no wonder Chinese publishers have filled their 2014 pipelines with even more mid-core card games. Data and graphic from SuperData Research
  6. 6. 2 Good Games Don’t Die Young The lifespan of a game can vary dramatically. Two games from the PC era show this: Journey to the West, a classic Chinese MMORPG title by NetEase, and Happy Farm, a social game comparable to Farmville that became a nationwide obsession in 2009. ! The Baidu search engine index serves as a proxy of their popularity. So, is your mobile game Journey to the West or Happy Farm? Search Index Happy Farm Journey to the West Source: Baidu Search Index for PC
  7. 7. 2 Good Games Don’t Die Young Now let’s look at some titles in the new mobile era. Card games like I’m MT are assumed to have a longer life cycle than other titles, based on their immersive gameplay and collectible nature. A year after its release, I’m MT continues to steadily build its audience. ! Of course, card games are not the only ones with a long lifespan, as Temple Run and Fishing Joy show below. These two titles steadily built an audience over a period of 6-18 months before reaching a peak, and now appear to be enjoying a long sunset. Search Index I’m MT 2011 Temple Run Fishing Joy 2012 2013 Source: Baidu Search Index for Mobile
  8. 8. 2 Good Games Don’t Die Young The contrast is stark with two other titles that shot to popularity via social promotion on WeChat: WePop, a bubble-popping title by Tencent that’s like Popcap’s Bejeweled Blitz, and MomentCam, an app that creates a cartoon likeness of you (covered in the Nov. 2013 issue of the China App Index). ! But then each app plummeted: search volume fell by over 66% from its peak within one month. Virality is no guarantee of retention. Search Index WePop Moment Cam Source: Baidu Search Index for Mobile
  9. 9. 2 Good Games Don’t Die Young Here are all five mobile apps on one chart. At one point in time, WePop and MomentCam spiked past the other perennially popular games. But the fall was just as swift. ! It used to be that developers just tried to rack up as many installs as possible. 2013 demonstrated the power of social media in igniting app virality. In 2014, we expect to see developers focus on retention and retargeting: getting users to return to the app in the months or years to come. Search Index I’m MT Temple Run Fishing Joy WePop Moment Cam Source: Baidu Search Index for Mobile
  10. 10. 3 Traveling Gets Personal Travel apps took three spots on this month’s Fastest Growing Apps rankings, a testament to a shifting attitude among Chinese tourists. While hotel and ticket booking apps suggest travelers are gaining independence from package tours, none makes this case as strongly as BreadTrip, an elegant mobile SNS for travelers. Dali Old Town Itineraries Photos Trending BreadTrip (⾯面包旅⾏行) Blogged Itinerary Growth Rate: 171% This robust social platform for travelers allows users to live photoblog their itineraries with geotagged entries. Other users can peruse these itineraries by destination to find tips, photos, and recommendations for spots along the journey. Sleep Music Planes Scenic Spots Hotels Restaurant
  11. 11. 3 Traveling Gets Personal Sharing information on the platform empowers fellow travelers to strike out on their own trip. BreadTrip includes many other salivating features such as a “Trending” feed of geo-located photos for a given destination. Profiles keep track of destinations visited and those users wish to visit, opening the possibility of finding a travel companion for the next getaway. Dali Old Town Itineraries Photos Profile Trending Message Days ago Dali Old Town Itineraries Follow
  12. 12. Star Apps December 2013 Top New Fastest Growing
  13. 13. Top New Top New App Muti-functional Calculator (多功能计算器) Top New Game My Talking Tom (我的会说话的汤姆猫)
  14. 14. Top New Apps Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Name Downloads Muti-functional Calculator (多功能计算器) 40,775 Fastest Launcher (最快桌⾯面) 32,458 360 Mobile Guard for Android (360⼿手机卫⼠士安卓版) 23,515 Simple Calendar (简洁⽇日历) 23,511 Meika Camera (美咖相机) 19,427 Easy Flashlight (简便⼿手电筒) 18,424 Doraemon Flashlight (哆啦a梦⼿手电筒) 16,499 360 Mobile Guard (360⼿手机卫⼠士) 16,103 Simple Camera (简约相机) 15,655 Bat Flashlight (蝙蝠⼿手电筒) 15,337
  15. 15. Top New Games Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Name Downloads My Talking Tom (我的会说话的汤姆猫) 255,219 Three Kingdoms 15 (三国志15) 105,251 Sky Sword (苍穹之剑) 86,749 Papa Three Kingdoms (啪啪三国) 61,829 Pocket Dragon Ball (⼝口袋⻰龙珠) 60,651 Reckless Moto (摩托赛⻋车) 59,260 Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils (天⻰龙⼋八部移动版) 58,460 Bobo Landlord Fight (bobo⽃斗地主) 52,900 Citizen Hero (全民英雄) 45,636 Hay Day (卡通农场) 45,263
  16. 16. Fastest Growing Fastest Growing App Fastest Growing Game Convenient Coupon (随⼿手优惠) Tiantian Bullfight (天天⽃斗⽜牛)
  17. 17. Fastest Growing Apps Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Name Downloads Growth rate Convenient Coupon (随⼿手优惠) 198,553 386% Hotel Express Master (快捷酒店管家) 290,599 329% Baidu Group-buy (百度团购) 358,712 275% Bread Trip (⾯面包旅⾏行) 250,804 171% Kuxun Air Ticket (酷讯机票) 188,968 165% Ultimate Flashlight (终极⼿手电筒) 278,250 147% 360 Mobile Guard for MTK6573 (360⼿手机卫⼠士 MTK6573双卡版) 224,931 136% Mobile QQ2013 Int’l (⼿手机QQ2013 国际版) 191,211 98% Baidu One-key Root (百度⼀一键root) 296,696 87% 9 Yuan Shop (九块邮) 256,931 43%
  18. 18. Fastest Growing Games Rank Name Downloads Growth rate 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Tiantian Bullfight (天天⽃斗⽜牛) 205,759 935,168% Crazy Shark (百变鲨⻥鱼) 160,352 628,731% Moto Hero (摩托英豪) 167,562 37,385% Tank 1990 (坦克1990) 153,817 31,312% 8 9 10 Richman Landlord Fight (⼟土豪⽃斗地主) 209,964 3842% Dumb Ways to Die (蠢蠢的死法) 155,509 1819% Bai Zhan Cheng Xian (百战成仙) 204,727 603% God and Demon (神魔) 173,740 140% I’m Naruto (我是⽕火影) 179,602 107% Zijin Land Run (紫⾦金岛跑得快) 296,189 101%
  19. 19. About the China App Index China is the world’s largest smartphone market, by far. But it’s a black hole for app data. Mobile research firms use Google Play data, which works for most of the world, but not for China. Nine out of ten new smartphones sold in China run Android, but developers are left in the dark. ! Here at Wandoujia, we decided to change that. As an Android app store with over 300 million users, we decided to shine a light on the market. We hope it will encourage more foreign developers to come to China. Methodology: ! • • • • Top new: Launched within the last 60 days. Fastest-growing: Highest growth-rate this month, relative to an average of the previous 3 months. App data is carefully screened to eliminate ‘zombie downloads’ All data is from the Wandoujia App Store, with 300 million+ Android users in China.
  20. 20. About Wandoujia The China partner for app developers Wandoujia’s editorial team is always on the lookout for the best new apps. That definitely includes apps from foreign developers! We’ve partnered with Flipboard, EverNote, Pocket, and LINE to do exclusive launches and promotions in China. The place for mobile gamers Wandoujia is the easiest way to reach a massive audience of gamers in China. For developers, our app promotion system makes it easy to be discovered and our payment SDK makes it easy to get paid. Complete media management Wandoujia is for more than just apps. Our PC suite makes it super-easy for users to manage all of their content. That includes movies, TV shows, music, and e-books too. Learn more here: brandbook-en?from_search=5
  21. 21. Wandoujia Developer Center Register today: ! For support contact: Benefits for Registered Developers: ! • Verified developer badge gives developers peace of mind • Push updates to your Chinese users, quickly and efficiently • Eligible for campaigns and featured promotions • Optimized search result ranking
  22. 22. Case Study: Flipboard in China When Flipboard came to China in June 2012, it partnered with Wandoujia on the launch. 150,000 downloads “ in the first week. Our China launch with Wandoujia was a big success. 
 A few short days after we got in contact, we were ready to launch with a nicely designed campaign that fit with our brand image. Wandoujia has delivered hundredsof-thousands of downloads, including some of our highest-quality users in China. ! -Alvin Tse, Product Director at Flipboard China
  23. 23. Did you like this? Subscribe to the China App Index! The China App Index will arrive in your inbox once a month. Fear not, we think spam is evil too. And we use MailChimp, so it’s super-easy for you to unsubscribe any time. But we--and our very, very cute cats--will be sad to see you go.
  24. 24. Let’s connect! International PR International Developer Relations