Date
25 September 2017
Intensive games like King of Glory and easy-to-play games like Stupid Again 2 represent two very different business models in the mobile gaming sector. Photo: buybackworld.com
Intensive games like King of Glory and easy-to-play games like Stupid Again 2 represent two very different business models in the mobile gaming sector. Photo: buybackworld.com

How a low-profile game became the most popular free download app

Tencent’s share price has continued to set fresh record highs, thanks to its highly profitable mobile game King of Glory.

However, its Stupid Again 2 has replaced King of Glory as the most popular free download in Apple’s App Store under the China category.

The popularity of Stupid Again 2 shows that easy-to-play games, as opposed to sophisticated games like King of Glory, could also become successful.

King of Glory has more than 200 million registered players in mainland China, occupying the top spot on the free download list for a long time.

Thus, it’s not surprising that it got dethroned by a new game. This should not alarm Tencent investors because King of Glory is still the game that generates the most income.

There are three download rankings at Apple’s App Store: paid download, free download and best-selling.

The paid download list gauges the number of times a paid game is downloaded while the free download ranking calculates the number of times a free game is downloaded.

For gaming companies, the best-selling ranking is the most important because it calculates the actual revenue generated by a game.

King of Story has raked in huge profits for Tencent and continues to do so, as it remains on the top of Apple App Store’s best-selling chart. The game makes money largely by selling all kinds of virtual accessories, like weapons and skin color of characters.

But unlike King of Glory, which requires players to commit a lot of time, energy and money to the game, Stupid Again 2 appeals to those who just want to relax and have fun.

Stupid Again 2 has also cleverly harnessed the power of online opinion leaders, especially on the Weibo platform, to promote itself to mature players.

While it is way behind King of Glory on the best-selling chart, Stupid Again 2 is expected to generate substantial advertising income, proving that developing a simple, low-budget game can also be a viable business model.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Aug. 11

Translation by Julie Zhu

[Chinese version 中文版]

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RT/CG

Hong Kong Economic Journal columnist

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