Generally speaking, the European and American game markets represented by the United States are mainly divided into four categories: strategy, gaming, leisure and shooting. Among them, the leisure category is the track where domestic manufacturers have gradually accumulated advantages in recent years.
As a sub-category of casual games, before 2020, the synthetic category may be defined as a niche category by many people. However, judging from the excellent products that continue to emerge in 2020, the situation is changing, especially since this year, the domestic mobile game ” Pocket Aid is among the top best-selling games in the United States, allowing more developers to see the business opportunities in this category.
The head product has an average monthly turnover of 160 million yuan, and the domestic mobile game has become the gold king of the synthetic track
In fact, the synthetic category has always been famous, mainly due to the explosion effect, such as “Merge Plane” and “Merge Dragons!” “The former is a synthetic placement game. Online data shows that it has received 120 million downloads. The developer behind the latter, Gram Games, relied on the outstanding performance of this product and sold it to Zynga for $250 million in 2018.
After Zynga took over Gram Games, “Merge Dragons! “The performance continues to hit new highs. According to the data released by Zynga’s financial report, in 2019, “Merge Dragons! 》Revenue increased from 28 million U.S. dollars in the first quarter to nearly 75 million U.S. dollars in the fourth quarter. Based on this calculation, the average monthly income in the fourth quarter reached nearly 25 million U.S. dollars (equivalent to approximately 160 million yuan).
Since Zynga will no longer disclose the revenue share of each game in its 2020 financial reports for each quarter, it is impossible to know accurate revenue data, but we can guess the peak performance of the product based on the ranking of the list.
Let’s take the most important US market as an example. Qimai data shows that the game’s ranking of iOS game bestsellers in the United States has shown a downward trend since 2020. The fluctuation of the ranking is slightly larger than that in 2019, but it is still stable in the top 80. It is speculated that the fourth quarter of 2019 is the peak of the game’s revenue.
Except for “Merge Dragons! “In addition, Gram Games released a new cartoon-style synthetic game “Merge Magic!” in the second half of 2019. “Same small and famous, topping the 55th best-selling iOS game list in the United States.
If Gram Games has been the head player on this track until 2020 and most of the time in 2020, then by 2020, as more and more synthetic products are developed, especially domestic synthetic + SLG mobile games With the record of “Pocket Ark” all the way up, a new pattern in the synthetic market is taking shape.
According to the data of Qimai, according to the ranking of the best-selling iOS games in the US, “Pocket Aid” probably started to work after November 2020 (before it was mainly ranked out of 100), ranking all the way forward and ranking first this year. The quarter has stabilized in the Top 30, with the highest score of 15th.
How much does “Pocket Ark” earn? We use “Merge Dragons! “As a reference to estimate.
From the ranking point of view, the ranking range of the iOS game bestseller list in the US for the first three months of this year is the same as that of Merge Dragons! 》The ranking range for the fourth quarter of 2019 is comparable. Simple speculation, the average monthly income of Pocket Aid is expected to reach about 160 million yuan this year.
The number of users is equally astonishing. According to the information disclosed in the official app store, the global downloads of the game have exceeded 100 million.
Supercell has invested heavily in the track, a waist synthetic product that cannot be ignored
In the past two years, the combined category has gradually attracted the attention of the public. In addition to the head product effect, there are also some synthetic products that perform well or have high expectations, allowing more developers to see the market potential of this track.
The following products are also highly concerned by the market.
The first is “EverMerge”, with 7-month revenue of 50 million US dollars.
This product issued by Big Fish Games is characterized by a combination of merger and farm building gameplay. Since its global release in May 2020, the ranking has gradually risen, entering the top 150 iOS game best-selling list in the United States, and it has stabilized within the Top 120 this year. , The highest scored 74th. According to DoF reports, the game’s revenue was $50 million in 7 months after its launch.
The second one is “Match 3D”, with a DAU of over 2.6 million.
This is a puzzle game that finds all the same items to match within the specified time. The gameplay tends to be light casual, but the performance is not worse than that of the moderate casual products. Since its launch in May 2020, the ranking has risen steadily. Stable in the top 100 best-selling iOS games in the US. According to a report in February this year, the game’s DAU exceeded 2.6 million.
The third is “Merge Mansion”, which was named favorably by the Supercell CEO.
In September last year, Supercell provided $17.7 million in investment and $11.8 million in credit to “Merge Mansion” developer Metacore (formerly Everywear Games). Supercell CEO focused on this story simulation synthesis product in the annual open letter, and believes that the game will be launched in 2021.
According to the developer, the game’s test data is good. Among about 200,000 download test users, the next day retention rate reached 60%, the 7-day retention rate was 38%, and the 30-day retention rate was 24%. Since the game was launched globally in September last year, its performance has been steadily improving, and it is currently around the top 150 iOS game bestsellers in the United States.
The last is “Mergical”, a product released by Beijing Beta Technology.
Although the performance of this product is not as good as the products mentioned above, the developers behind it deserve our attention. Beijing Beta Technology, formerly known as Beijing Yuntu Micromotion, was founded in 2011. In the early days, it was a company that used tools to go overseas. In 2017, it transformed the game and created a number of leisure products such as “Word Crossy” and “Golf Rival”. The former won the United States. TOP5 in crossword puzzles in, UK and other regions.
In addition to the above companies, there are other relatively small manufacturers that are also making merged products, such as Futureplay (“Merge Gardens”, StarBerry Games (“Merge Mayor”), etc.. This track is ushering in more and more Entry.
An emerging blue ocean track, the market has not yet formed a monopoly pattern of giants
The current excellent or relatively excellent products on this track are mostly products that will be launched or started in 2020. Everyone is still in the initial stage of exploring this track.
On the whole, synthetic products are gradually developing from relatively simple synthetic gameplay to more elemental gameplay, which can be attributed to two directions:
One is mainly based on “Merge Dragons! “For reference, explore games with richer gameplay, such as “EverMerge” built by synthesis + farm, and “Mergical” built by synthesis + fantasy island. The merger rules of this type of game generally require three or more of the same items/characters to be merged into more advanced and better-looking items/characters, to explore/awaken the continent, to plan and design the continent, etc.
The other is to jump out of “Merge Dragons! “Framework, explore more meta-game synthesis + games, such as Merge + SLG’s “Pocket Shock”, merge + manor simulation “Merge Mansion”, etc., but whether the integration is smooth is very important, and I feel it in the author’s personal experience. Let’s talk about “Merge Mansion” and “Pocket Aid”.
“Merge Mansion” is a synthesizing method of storytelling, but at the beginning of the experience, I only feel a little bit of boring. In the merge mechanism, it is necessary to continuously produce duplicate tools from the toolbox and upgrade to the tools required for repairing the manor. Just click on the task and watch the animation to complete the task. The overall game gives the player a sense of sight of match-3 + simulated operation, but because of familiarity with this framework, the interest is reduced.
While “Pocket Ark”, although it is constantly a little bit, such as merging buildings, merging soldiers, etc., this kind of traditional time-consuming infrastructure rules in strategy games is changed into an instant synthetic gameplay, which becomes lighter and reduces user operations. And the cognitive threshold is also in line with the operation of casual smartphone users.
In addition to the overall gameplay experience, there is also much room for exploration in terms of merging rules.
For example, “Merge Dragons! “EverMerge” requires three or more of the same items to be merged into higher-level items, but in games such as “Pocket Ark” and “Merge Mansion”, they are all merged into new items in pairs, while “Match 3D” is not Combining the same items into higher-level items, just to find out the same items, is mainly to test the player’s eyesight and memory. In addition, this year’s domestic explosion of “Synthetic Watermelon” is a lighter but addictive synthetic gameplay, and it also provides practitioners with another synthetic idea.
In general, there are a wide range of synthetic concepts, and there are many possibilities in terms of gameplay rules and mechanisms, subject matter, and style of painting. Before the market is monopolized, the cost of trial and error is relatively low.
When “EverMerge” was launched last year, Big Fish Games president Jeff Karp said that the synthetic category is a blue ocean market, not a red ocean market where top players fight. He believes: “Synthetics is a relatively new track in the field of mobile games, which is constantly evolving.”
Fundamentally speaking, the synthesis type and the elimination type have similar elimination mechanisms, but the degree of competition between the two is very different. It is undeniable that the match-3 game is an enviable cake, but it is a hard bone.
In an interview, McGee Taiwen CEO Zhao Yongkai once revealed that to make a product similar to “Project Makeover” engineering volume, a team of 150 to 200 people is required to support content production. But even if there are people of this size, people with deep roots in this field are needed to make innovative boutiques.
Therefore, it can be predicted that the synthetic type that not only proves the capacity of absorption, but also proves the ability of revenue, will become the track that more and more developers pay attention to and layout.
Source: Game Top