Data Insights: A Brief Analysis on Top Mobile Games on Twitter
Twitter, a global social networking platform, recently released its Top Charts 2021. In the game charts, the most-mentioned five mobile games are:
- Genshin Impact
- Ensemble Stars!
- Fate Grand Order
- KNIVES OUT
- Project Sekai
Among the 5 games, there are 4 anime-style games and 2 rhythm games. This article is a brief analysis of 3 representative games chosen from the 5 games, studying their revenue, downloads, and ad creatives to figure out how they became big hits.
Genshin Impact: Quality speaks for itself
Genshin Impact is an open-world adventure game launched by Chinese developer miHoYo in 2020. Since its release, the game has attracted numerous fans worldwide by virtue of its solid quality and elaborative marketing.
There was a lot of spending on the media buying for Genshin Impact. According to the data captured by SocialPeta, the game had over 20,000 sets of deduplicated creatives on iOS and Android combined as of 9 February 2022. Based on the advertising data for the last year, Genshin Impact's favorite advertising platforms are Facebook (on iOS) and Google Ads (on Android).
The creatives were mainly in the form of video and image. The video creatives mostly displayed the game's character modeling, gameplay, and high-quality PV; the image creatives mostly displayed reward information, festivals and events, in-game benefits, and drawings of characters.
Let's take a look at the following video creative. It was released in Russia and mainly about "Elemental Reactions", a special gameplay mechanics of the game. For example, after using "Mona" to cast Water Elemental Skills at Enemies, switch to Chongyun to cast Frost Elemental Skills and freeze Enemies. There is a formula on the bottom of the video for each "Elemental Reaction", teaching players how to play the game. Currently the creative reached a popularity of 974 (with a full popularity of 999), 2.8 million estimated impressions, and 1300 estimated conversions.
The following creative released on 9 February 2022 is a combination of game features, cross-platform play, exclusive benefits, demonstrated orally in one video by an online celebrity who can increase the user conversion rate with the support from his fans.
It had been over a year since its release, and Genshin Impact still kept a high growth rate. According to SocialPeta, In January 2022, the game was downloaded over 4.7 million times on iOS and Android combined, recording over 7.4 million MAUs; it grossed over 9.2 million USD in revenue on iOS and Android combined, proving its great potential to generate revenue.
Ensemble Stars!: A Japanese mobile idol training game
Idol training has been a well-established culture in Japan where there are AKB girl group, Johnny's boy group, etc. in real life. But it was until Love Live!, a 2.5-Dimensional school idol project, was introduced in 2010 when virtual idols finally took off in Japan. Following which, the rhythm game series Love Live! School Idol Festival was released and 5 months later it had over 1 million users. With such stunning data, the wave of idol training swept across the mobile game market. The most outstanding of all such games was Ensemble Stars! (Japanese name: あんさんぶるスターズ!!).
Ensemble Stars! is centered on idol training. Instead of focusing on traditionally handsome men like those in otome games and romantic relationships, the game presents how energetic or Chūnibyō boys work hard for their dreams, the "youth and striving spirit" theme striking a responsive chord in the hearts of its players.
The following creative is from a promotion video of its spin-off Ensemble Stars!! Music. In the video, we can see scenes of girls singing (peacefully) → a subway storming by and eyes looking down (upset) → sunny idols and smiling girls (happy). As the emotions get stronger, players feel emotionally connected with them.
According to the data captured by SocialPeta, Ensemble Stars!! Music didn't rely heavily on advertising. The game focused on strengthening the game IP. There are related products, comics, music, novels, stage plays, and animations produced based on the game IP, reaching users in multiple dimensions frequently to assure players' loyalty to the IP.
After years of operation, Ensemble Stars!! Music distinguished itself from other popular idol training IPs and became the highest-grossing rhythm game worldwide in 2021. The game also had a great performance in January 2022, grossing 7.8 million USD in revenue on the App Store and 1.7 million USD in revenue on Google Play.
KNIVES OUT: Making great efforts in localization
KNIVES OUT is a battle royale shooter game similar to PUBG. The game was officially launched in 2017 with its principal market in Japan. According to SocialPeta, in the last 1 year, the game had most of its creatives placed in Japan, accounting for about 77%, followed by the USA, accounting for about 18%.
KNIVES OUT spent most of its marketing efforts on localization, so its ad creatives were also optimized to the taste of Japanese people. The following creative, newly released in January 2022, is a video of fighting scenes acted all by real people, without any scene from the game. The video is similar to TV variety shows, very effective in shortening the distance between the game and players.
In the last 1 month, KNIVES OUT released a lot of such live-action creatives, accounting for over 57% of its total creatives. Its ads were placed on many common social platforms in Japan such as YouTube and Twitter.
And KNIVES OUT is very active in partnering with other IPs and has cooperated with many animations. Recently it worked with the hot animation Tokyo Revengers ( 東京リベンジャーズ).
KNIVES OUT became a widely known game in Japan thanks to its overwhelming advertising and cooperation with other IPs, as well as the vacancy of battle royale games in the Japanese market. When the increase of its players slowed down, it still maintained a very high revenue, grossing over 18.7 million USD in revenue on the App Store and over 1.2 million USD in revenue on Google Play
The above-mentioned hottest mobile games on Twitter were to the taste of the local people in Japan in most respects ranging from their gameplay designs to their advertising strategies. And Japan (followed by the USA) is the country with the most tweets which raised the heat of those games. If you wish to quickly make your new game a big hit through social media, you can consider the above marketing strategies.