The rise of “Match 3 + X” sub-categories, a new round of competition begins

In this issue, we also summarized some thoughts on development trends based on the current performance of major domestic and foreign manufacturers and casual games. We also hope that everyone can provide valuable suggestions and ideas in the message area, or add Ohayoo development below the article WeChat, our assistant, look forward to discussing more exciting content with you.

Domestic market

01. More major manufacturers focus on the opportunity of the three-consumption market, and a new round of “three-consumption +” competition begins

The match-3 game “Puzzles & Survival” under 37 Mutual Entertainment’s previous overseas trips has achieved good results. It has stabilized in the Top 100 best sellers in the United States, and its ranking has maintained a steady rise. The game is cut in with match-3 + combat gameplay. From the experience, this “hard-core” match-3 is more in line with the tastes of male players, choosing a differentiated play of sword and slant.

On November 23, Tencent invested in an elimination game developer No. 7 handwriting. The company owns three products: “Happy Dot Elimination”, “Eliminate Battle”, and “Fantasy Elimination”. The two sides did not disclose the next product plan. , But from the perspective of Tencent, the last elimination game was “Crazy Animal City”, which was launched in August 2018. This investment should be for the purpose of a new tour relay.

At the same time, Gao Liandun, the president of Dreamland, said that match-3 is one of the company’s three tracks, and a global elimination game called “Witch’s Diary” is being developed internally. According to the latest news, the match-3 + decryption business game “Witch’s Diary” has completed a paid test in Southeast Asia, and the data has performed well.

02. 2020 The third batch of imported game version numbers will be issued, and a variety of overseas popular games will be introduced

On December 2, the edition agency issued the third batch of imported game version numbers for 2020. Among them, Tencent’s “ROBLOX” (“ROBLOX”) is worthy of attention. “Roblox” is a virtual world and leisure community. Games with self-built content have long been ranked in the Top 10 iOS best-selling lists in the United States and other European and American markets. According to the prospectus disclosed by Roblox not long ago, the global DAU of games increased to 31 million in the first three quarters of this year.

NetEase is about to introduce “Candy Crush Friends Saga”, the originator of Match 3, but considering that both overseas and China have entered the era of “match 3 +” gameplay, it may require a lot of localization and gameplay modification to stand out. .

foreign market

1. Google Play announced the selection of the best casual games in 2020, with excellent performance in elimination and simulation business games

According to the list published by Google Play, a total of five casual games were selected as the best casual games of 2020, namely:

  • Zynga《Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells》
  • Play Together《DreamWorks Trolls Pop: Bubble Shooter & Collection by Huuuge Games 》
  • Tilting Point《SpongeBob: Krusty Cook-Off》
  • Jam City《Disney Frozen Adventure》
  • Big Fish Games《EverMerge》

Among them, “Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells” and “Disney Frozen Adventure” both integrate match-3 gameplay into well-known IP storylines (Harry Potter and Frozen); “DreamWorks Trolls Pop: Bubble Shooter & Collection by Huuuge Games” It is a pinball elimination game; “SpongeBob: Krusty Cook-Off” is a SpongeBob IP restaurant simulator game; “EverMerge” is a game that combines simulation management and elimination gameplay. It can be seen that elimination and simulation business games are the most popular overseas casual game categories. Cooperation with well-known IPs may extend the life cycle of the game and increase the appeal of the game.

After sorting out the information about the new casual games that have achieved certain results at home and abroad, we have made the following 4 thoughts on the future development trend of casual games, and look forward to discussing with you.

Thinking about future development trends

01, 2021, domestic games are expected to make new breakthroughs in key overseas markets

  • Looking back on 2020, the overall growth rate of the game market is much faster than in the past. Many new and old products have shown obvious growth trends around the world; secondly, in several key overseas markets (such as Japan, South Korea, and the United States), many domestic games Both have made new breakthroughs; in addition, affected by the situation in 2020, many people around the world are looking for more leisure and entertainment methods that can be achieved at home.
  • First of all, we see the overall improvement in the quality of domestic games, and the expressiveness of the head products is getting better and better. Enhancing the investment in the configuration of the engine technology and enhancing the expressiveness to enhance the external quality of the game will be the next stage that the market will experience. This requires developers to prepare accordingly.
  • Second, the boundaries between categories in mobile games have gradually become blurred, and mixed gameplay has become the industry trend. The boundaries between light and heavy games are no longer so clear. For example, although “Legend of Bow and Arrow” is a small and medium-sized game with simple operation mechanism, its growth core is very similar to that of heavy RPG. Another typical example is the rise of the sub-category “Match 3 + X”. This year’s new work “Project Makeover” by Magic Tavern has been released in 35 countries with the theme of match 3 + dress-up. Free list to the top.
  • At the same time, considering the globalization and multi-platform distribution method, it is the direction to maximize the audience coverage of the current game. Netease, Mihayou, Lilith, etc. are no longer limited to deploying mobile platforms, and choose to expand to multiple platforms (PC, host, etc.). Product distribution has also become more and more global. “Using the same idea to do domestic market + overseas market at the same time” is being established. Some domestic developers (such as Lilith’s “Sword and Expedition”) have tried the path of “turning overseas to domestic sales” with good results. The threshold for a product to be launched in multiple regions and even the world at the same time is gradually lowering. The final result of a game in overseas markets will test the developer’s ability to distribute globally.

02. The sub-categories of “Match-3 + X” are rising, and studios with R&D capabilities can explore the combination of match-3 and different themes

In 2020, Magic Tavern’s new work “Project Makeover” has reached the top of the free list in 35 countries with the theme of match-3 + dress-up, and rushed to the top 10 of the free list in more than 130 countries and regions. The game is based on “reform”. The theme, from the perspective of a designer, makes a major transformation of the clothes, styles and houses of amateur girls, which is different from the manor dressing method that once dominated the North American match-3 market. Looking back at the elimination products that have become popular in North America before, GameRefinery divides them into three waves:

  • The traditional match three represented by “Candy Crush”;
  • The “Match 3 + Dress up” category led by Playtrix “Dream Garden” and the elimination game with the elements of simulated business;
  • A “Match-3+” game with a wider range of theme elements represented by “Town Detective” and “Real Estate Brothers”.

The worldwide popularity of “Project Makeover” with “Match 3 + Transformation” as the gameplay proves that the evolution of compound match 3 has become the new mainstream in the Western Match 3 market.

03. Werewolf games still have room for development

“Among Us!” has continued to explode overseas for nearly a year. The new game “Imposter Solo Kill” released by IEC, which is also a Werewolf genre, also performed well. “Imposter” is the pretender in the game “Among Us!” The style is completely copied from “Among Us!”. Nearly a month after it went online, its downloads rushed to the top 5 in the United States and top 2 in South Korea. In China, on November 2, the mobile game of “Between the Werewolves” squeezed out “Glory of the King” and “Peace Elite” and reached the top of the iOS free list. “Between Werewolves” regards the gameplay of “Among Us!” as the core, and replaced it with a set of expressions and scenes of the theme of werewolf killing. Players still have a greater demand for well-made “Among Us!” games.

04. Gameplay creativity is the core of the ultra-casual game update iteration

Voodoo’s practice has proved that one idea can make three small games, and create different player experiences through slightly differentiated gameplay. “Shortcut Run” released by Voodoo once won the top 10 list of small games in the United States, and the number of downloads has also stabilized at the Top4 after its domestic release. The core gameplay mechanism of “Shortcut Run” is actually similar to Voodoo’s previously launched and popular “Cube Surfer!” and “Stair Run”. Players need to collect cubes on the map and eliminate the cubes in the game to pass the level, just in the details. The game has undergone a transformation, increased racing gameplay, changed different scenes, and realized different game experiences. Voodoo has created 3 popular ultra-casual mini games through a single idea, extending the life cycle of each idea.

Gameplay creativity is the core of the ultra-casual game update iteration. We have also been sharing various creative sharing content with developers from time to time. We hope to help developers break through the creative bottleneck and provide you with some inspiration and ideas about game creativity. Help more developers enter the casual game market. (More creative content can be obtained by sending “creative sharing” in the message area of ​​Ohayoo game official account)

Data description of the full text above:

Data: App Annie, limited by data availability, the total number of downloads in the market is replaced by downloads of the top 1,000 games on the list.
Due to the fact that App Annie has data retrospectives, there is a slight difference between the latest data and the data used in the previous monthly sharing. This issue is subject to the latest data.
Downloads in the Chinese market only include iOS (Apple Store) data, while downloads in the US, Japan, and South Korea markets include iOS and Google Play data.
Limited by the caliber of data, there may be errors in the total number of casual game downloads in the United States, Japan, and South Korea, and the errors have no impact on the Top10 ranking.

Source: Ohayoo Games


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