Match 3 games predicted in the 2020 puzzle game market: Will the match 3 overlords be transposed?


Match 3 has always been a large gold absorption category, monopolized by overseas head manufacturers. FireCraft is one of the rare Chinese manufacturers with breakthrough achievements.

Recently, analysts have compared the categories and sub-categories of the 1000 games in App Annie’s head in the last 3 years to get a market forecast for 2020.


Classification of game categories in the article

This article mainly analyzes and predicts the match-3 games in the casual-puzzle game category.

2019 puzzle game market review


Sub-categories and sub-categories of casual games (Revenue does not include advertising revenue, except placement and hyper-casual games) | Source: DECONSTRUCTOR OF FUN

In 2019, IAP revenue for puzzle games was as high as $ 4.5 billion, an increase of approximately 18% year-on-year. The IAP revenue of puzzle games is second only to SLG in all game categories, and ranks second in mobile game in-app purchase revenue.

1.Three match games IAP reached $ 3.4 billion

The vast majority of puzzle game revenue comes from match-3 games, and IAP revenue for match-3 games is $ 3.4 billion, with an average annual growth rate of 13%.

Over the past few years, King, Playrix, and Peak have been occupying the top positions in the match-3 game market. Although Jam City, Rovio, Tactile, AppLovin, Storm8 and other companies are also competing on the match-3 track, it is difficult to shake their dominance.

In 2018, fixed user retention and monetization policies were no longer sufficient to create a successful match-3 game. Therefore, in 2019, in order to better meet market demand, led to mergers and acquisitions focusing on diversification and vertical integration, such as AppLovin’s Belka integrated vertical track.

The total revenue of the elimination and decorating mixed game in the match 3 game has the fastest growth (excluding Other Match, which cannot be specifically divided into categories)

Further exploration found that the fastest-growing income in match-3 games was elimination & decoration games, especially Playrix’s “Fantasy Garden”, “Fantasy Manor” and “Fantasy Aquarium”. At the end of the year, the number of downloads surged, thus taking over The leader of traditional match-3 games.

Lesson for 2019: Don’t challenge Playrix?

For a long time, the giants of the match three market have been King, Playrix and Peak. But in 2019, Chinese publisher Firecraft Studios competed fiercely with Playrix through the game Wonder Manor.

Wonder Manor was similar to Playrix’s Dream Manor, which led to a strong backlash from Playrix.

Whether it’s core gameplay, themes, artistic style, store ideas, icons, or video ideas, Spacetime Fantasy and Playrix have similarities

In order to defend its market position, Playrix has stepped up its promotion efforts to make its installation volume reach an unprecedented level, but this has also caused the CPI cost to rise.

Installation Trends of Three Games (Pink-Wonderful Manor, Purple-Homescapes, Blue-Gardenscapes)

In terms of installations, since March 2019, the installation of Wonderful Manor is far lower than Playrix’s Dream Manor and Dream Garden.

Obviously, Playrix has invested more in marketing, which also leads to more downloads and revenue.

In 2019, Playrix’s series of games “Fantasy Aquarium”, “Fantasy Garden”, “Fantasy Manor” and “Wonderful Zoo” received a total of 308 million downloads. 205 million) is 50% higher.

3.Three sequels of big IP drive revenue growth by 288%

Last year, Rovio made waves with “Angry Bird Fantasy Blast”, which increased the income of other sub-3 games by 288%, which can be said to be one of the few successful IP game innovations in recent years.

There are other examples of such big-IP trivia sequels, such as Traffic Puzzle by Huuuge, a gaming publisher, and Dr Mario World by Nintendo.

Angry Birds Fantasy Blast (left), Traffic Puzzle (middle), Dr Mario World (right)

2020 Match 3 Game Market Forecast

Prediction 1: Mergers will continue

The next phase of mergers and acquisitions will focus on acquiring companies that are best suited for match-3 games. The acquired company may be:

Publishers with more than $ 10 million in annual revenue, such as Tactile, PlayQ, AWEM, PlayDots, and more.

Anagram and other puzzle games company with a fairly large DAU.

Prediction 2: Playrix Will Become the Biggest Matchmaker

As the revenue of the puzzle & decoration sub-category exceeds that of the classic match-3 category, Playrix will become the No.1 player in the match-3 game category for three reasons:

King’s focus on a single franchise, combined with conservative product and marketing strategies, has left rival Playrix an opportunity.

Playrix is ​​very aggressive in terms of products and marketing.

Players are more interested in puzzle & decoration games.

Prediction 3: Peak Games will go downhill

If Peak Games is willing to sell, the company is likely to be acquired in 2020. The most suitable buyer would be Zynga.

Zynga has previously acquired Peak’s card game business and has built a strong presence in Turkey through Gram Games. We predict that Peak Games will go downhill and eventually sell because:

This company hasn’t released a new game for several years.

The growth of the puzzle game market is driven by puzzle & decoration games, which require a lot of content and therefore require larger teams, which runs counter to Peak’s current small team structure.

Peak has lost some senior talent.

Zynga has a lower impact in puzzle games, so you might want to buy a puzzle game company.

Prediction 4: Catering to market demand will remain the focus of the Match 3 game

Inspired by the success of “Lily ’s Garden” and the slow sales of “Jam City ’s Vineyard Valley”, we will see more new puzzle games targeting female players.

Source: Belugas go to sea

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