Analyst Bulletin: Mobile Game Market Review July 2021

The newest Analyst Bulletin is out! Here are July’s top update picks from the US, China, and Japan’s mobile game markets that our analysts thought you should know.

This month’s highlights include the classic zombie mode coming back to Call of Duty Mobile in a brand new format, Magic the Gathering launching a collaboration with Dungeons and Dragons, and a slew of collaboration and seasonal summer events across US, Japanese and Chinese markets.

Keep reading to find out the rest of July’s market highlights. 😉

US Market Overview

  • At long last Call of Duty Mobile got its zombie mode back and in a brand new format BUT at least for now only for a limited time. We expect that it will most likely do well and become a permanent part of the game before long as the developers have clearly put a lot of effort into the game mode.
    • In the zombie mode players go into the matches in teams of 4. The mode has fully voice-acted cutscenes setting the scene and overall very high production values (what else would you expect from CoD Mobile). The game mode is based on survival. During the day players scavenge items across the map: weapons, ammo, equipment, material items for building/upgrading turrets and so on. At night, zombies attack and players have to survive/defend their base until sunrise. This cycle repeats three or five times (depending on difficulty chosen) and if the team survives that –> they win the match.
Zombies are back the Call of Duty Mobiles latest update
  • DoubleDown Casino introduced World Traveller a huge season-based  event that introduces several minigames and progression mechanics.
    • In the event, the player objective is to travel through various cities with their pet dog and renovate/upgrade cities with a new currency, Hammers. Once they’ve fully renovated a city, they get a reward and move on to the next one. Players can get Hammers by spinning Spinny, a new minislot machine. Spinny requires stars to play and you’ll get stars from spinning regular slots or by playing ether of the two event minigames – Rocket Launch and Treasure Hunter. Besides upgrading/renovating cities, you get to interact and upgrade your pet companion. This is done with pet food that players get from Spinny. 
Magic the Gatherings collaboration with Dungeons and Dragons brings new cards and “table-top RPG” mechanics to the game
  • Coin Master introduced team chest. Team Chest brings co-op elements to Coin Master’s team system. The player goal is to collect Keys with their team mates to win the chest. Players get Keys by attacking and raiding other players. 
    • Also, a piggy bank system was introduced, giving players the chance to purchase more spins at a discount by breaking the piggy. The more you spin, the more spins the piggy accumulates for purchase.
The team chest event brings co-op elements to Coin Master’s team system

Some other noteworthy feature updates in the US top grossing charts:

Project Makeover added Closet Ratings for players to measure the width of their collection and to compare it against other players on the leaderboards

Events

Candy Crush Soda Saga held a collaboration event with Space Jam
  • State of Survival added a Summer Games event set as well, no doubt drawing inspiration from the ongoing Olympics.

New on the market

Finally, the following top grossing 200 entrants from July are our US game analysts picks to follow closely in the upcoming months:

  • NieR Re[in]carnation launched at the end of July peaking at around rank 60 in the top grossing charts. Nier: Reincarnation is a fascinating story-focused Auto-battle RPG from the creator of the Nier game series. (Same as in Japan).
  • Shining Nikki entered the top 150 grossing. Shining Nikki is essentially Love Nikki 2 as the sequel to the dress-up game.
  • Punishing: Gray Raven a high production quality action RPG peeked at top 60 grossing after its launch. (Same as in China).

China Market Overview

Events

Life After held a cooking competition where players prepare different dishes to earn prizes
Crossfire held a collaboration event with the Calabash Brothers

Interesting Updates

Some of the most interesting game updates we saw in July in CN:

Moonlight Blade added a new season based dungeon run mode
  • Sky: Children of the Light (光·遇) further deepens its social side by adding a separate hang-out space called 共享空间, which the player can decorate with furniture and open up for everyone to join. 

New on the market

China’s top-grossing list saw many interesting changes last month, so let’s see what top-grossing 200 entrants our CH analysts have chosen for us this month:

  • July finally saw the launch of Marvel Super War (漫威超级战争) in China, peaking at 40 top grossing and 1 in downloads. Currently hovering around the top 100 grossing.
  • An interesting racing game Wangpai Jingsu (王牌竞速) shot to the top of the charts currently within the Top 20 grossing.
  • An interesting RPG adventure game Revived Witch (复苏的魔女) entered the top 50 grossing at launch. The game focuses on dungeon exploration and puzzle solving where players build a team-of-characters by collecting anime girls. The games pretty art style combines 8-bit pixel, 3D and anime graphics.

In July Summer season bikini skin events keep racking in cash with games such as Langrisser (梦幻模拟战), Naruto Online (火影忍者:忍者新世代) and Three Kingdoms Fantasy Land (三国志幻想大陆) all holding events of their own.

Japan market overview

  • D×2 真・女神転生 リベレーション added new tower-type monthly event Tokyo Abyss. In the mode players enter a single player dungeon where players can’t use their own characters but have to choose from a set of characters provided by the game.
    • Lately modes where players need to rely on a pre-selected roster of characters appear to be becoming more and more frequent in Japan.
Idolmaster Million Live! added a new Battle Pass during the Diamond Joker Event
  • 二ノ国:Cross Worlds added a Battle Pass, guild dungeon and ‘Legendary Ancient Genie Episode 01’ event with an event-only skill tree. During the event players need to complete a series of exclusive missions to get access to the event boss Ancient Genie. The boss can be fought either solo or as a party of 5 players.
  • Hinakoi (ひなこい ) Summer Campaign boosted the game to top grossing 10, appealing with real-life prizes like boyfriend certificates and hand written love letters.

Collaboration Events

Monster Strike held a collaboration event with Dragon Quest that include event exclusive dungeons

New on the market

Finally, let’s take a look at new interesting games that entered Japan’s top 200 grossing list in June:

  • Walking Dead: Survivors entered the JP-market’s top grossing 200, peaking 83rd and now ranking around 125. The 4X-game has been in the US market’s top 200 since April 2021.

Summer events continue to set the theme for July with beaches, swimsuits, vacation resorts and summer festivals in Umamusume (ウマ娘プリティーダービー), 7 Deadly Sins (七つの大罪), Project Sekai (プロジェクトセカイ), FFBE War of the Visions (FFBE幻影戦争), BanG! Dream (バンドリ! ガールズバンドパーティ!).

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