GameRefinery, a mobile game insight, and analytics specialist shared a new report focusing on Match3 subgenre. In case you didn’t know before, Match3’s main genre is Puzzle which is under Casual. Match3 has always been one of the most successful genres in mobile gaming – and still is. The subgenre games currently generates about 21% of all US iOS revenue, making it the biggest subgenre in the whole region.
81% of the top-grossing 200 Match3 games are more than two years old
According to GameRefinery’s report, hits like Candy Crush Saga, Toy Blast & Candy Crush Soda Saga continue to be major contributors to Match3 games’ success. These mature titles represent a more “traditional” approach as they focus solely on core gameplay, i.e. crunching candies and tiles. There’s the second wave of Math3s which is led by titles like Gardenscapes and Homescapes. These titles gained a significant foothold in the charts. Furthermore, a constant stream of content is important to keep the player-base engaged. Battle pass & social mechanics are prime examples of new & trending features in Match3 games.
King’s Candy Crush Saga is still sitting on the throne of the subgenre with about 26 percent of the US market share. However, Playrix’s Scapes-games are stealing the market share from King in downloads and revenue. Recently, Playrix crossed one billion downloads. Besides the two giants, Peak Games’ Toon Blast ranked two with a small difference between it and Gardenscapes.
The subgenre is evolving
GameRefinery talked about the “three waves” of Match3 sub-genre in the US iOS market. The first wave was “the archetypes” with titles like Candy Crush Saga, Fishdom, and ToyBlast. “Each game uses a very similar ‘archetype model’ as a foundation, but 2nd and 3rd wave titles add new twists on top of that (e.g. the possibility to build & decorate your garden, renovate your house, etc.)”.