Market Research

Fallout Shelter – is its success sustainable?

Fallout shelter has been one of the biggest climbers at the iOS US top grossing chart recently. When it achieved the 3rd position in June 17th many developers started to wonder if Bethesda have found a new recipe of success and if the position is sustainable…or is it just driven by Apple featuring and excellent timing with Fallout 4 hype (see further discussion here). We wanted to take a fact-based approach in assessing Fallout Shelter’s chances to sustain its position.

We wanted to take a fact-based approach in assessing Fallout Shelter’s chances to sustain its position.

The methodology

We have collected a vast database of thousands of mobile games (successful and not so successful ones) and analyzed each of these games by using over 150 different variables ranging from game mechanics to social elements and how different retention elements are built. Based on this information we have build a leading indicator for game’s commercial success called Game Power Score.

We have collected a vast database of thousands of mobile games (successful and not so successful ones) and analyzed each of these games by using over 150 different variables

The indicator is not only a single number, but can be sliced and diced into different themes and further into individual features and their contribution to the overall score. After calculating the score for a given game based on its features and how they have been implemented, we can benchmark the score to see how well games with similar score have been able to sustain a certain position at the top grossing ranking. Below is a short summary for the Game Power Score and how it can be used. (If you have further questions about the methodology, just contact us via our contact base and we are happy to tell you more.)

game-power-score

 

Fallout Shelter has only a quite small chance to sustain its current position at top grossing 10 list

Based on our analysis Fallout Shelter has clearly above average Game Power Score (score 81 vs. average of top grossing 200 Games is 74),  but  that there are not so many games that have been able to sustain the position among the top grossing 10 games with Game Power Score of 85 (even if it is possible).

fallout-shelter
Fallout Shelter has clearly above average Game Power Score (score 81 vs. average of top grossing 200 Games is 74), but would need score closer to 90 to better sustain its position at the top grossing 10 list

Based our database, only 8% of games with similar Game Power Score have been able to sustain its position among the top 10 grossing games. So, based on historical performance it is usually needed Game Power Score be above 90 to sustain that high position. To give you some benchmarks

  • Clash of Clans: Game Power Score = 94,
  • Candy Crush Saga: Game Power Score = 91
  • Game of War: Fire Game Power Score = 90

Based our database, only 8% of games with similar Game Power Score have been able to sustain its position among the top 10 grossing games.

Below is a graph that shows how many games with similar Game Power Score have been able to reach and sustain (at least 4 weeks) given top grossing ranking.

fallout-shelter-probability
Only 8% of games with similar Game Power Score have been able to sustain its position among the top 10 grossing games.

However, even if the chances are small for Fallout Shelter, there are still examples in history that have shown that sustaining position in the top 10 grossing games is possible.

Conclusions

  • It is not a just an incidence that Fallout Shelter has been commercially very successful game. There is no doubt that Apple’s featuring and the excellent timing with Fallout 4 hype have played a major role in its success.
  • However, there is only a relatively small chance that it will sustain its current position among the top grossing 10 games with the current feature set.
  • If Bethesda adds the right features to the game in the upcoming updates sustaining top grossing position below 10 or even below 5 is possible.

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