July 18, 2024

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Puzzle game ‘Royal Match’ dethrones ‘Candy Crush’ from top of app store

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Puzzle app Royal Match, developed by a small team in Istanbul, has overtaken Microsoft-owned Candy Crush Saga as the most lucrative mobile game in the world, outshining other smartphone titles during a lacklustre 12 months for the industry.

Royal Match became the biggest mobile game by monthly revenue globally in July and has held the top spot since then, according to Data.ai, which tracks consumer spending on Apple and Android app stores. Launched in 2021, it is the debut title from Dream Games, a Turkish start-up valued at $2.75bn early last year.

For more than a decade, King’s Candy Crush Saga has been one of the world’s most consistently popular games on any platform, hitting $20bn in cumulative revenue this year. Now part of Microsoft after its $75bn buyout of Activision Blizzard, Candy Crush has spent only six months outside the top 10 highest-revenue mobile games since it was released in late 2012, according to Data.ai.

Consumer spending on Royal Match more than doubled in the year to October, increasing the game’s annual gross revenue run rate (before paying out app store fees) to $2bn, said Soner Aydemir, Dream Games co-founder and chief executive.

Royal Match grew so much in what has been another challenging year for mobile games, its creators and investors say, thanks to a focus on quality and mass-market appeal, in a sector that often sees short-term money-spinners launched into Apple’s and Google’s app stores by a few developers on a low budget.

“We strongly believe quality is the best business plan,” Aydemir said.

Data.ai is forecasting the mobile games market will decline about 3 per cent this year globally, including in China, making Royal Match — alongside Scopely’s Monopoly Go! — a scarce new hit. “They have had a very impressive year,” said Lexi Sydow, head of insights at Data.ai.

Royal Match is a “match-three” puzzle game, which would typically involve lining up tiles or icons to clear a grid. These have become the…

2023-12-24 00:00:44

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