serkan AT kantan-games.co.jp

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Puzzle & Dragons Just Lost Its Position As The Top Grossing iPhone App In Japan To LINE (But For How Long?)

Japan’s biggest smartphone game Puzzle & Dragons, which now boasts 15 million users and generated US$113 million in sales in April this year, isn’t the country’s top grossing app on the iPhone anymore – at least for now.

As tweeted out by gumi CEO Hironao Kunimitsu around noon Japanese time today (Friday), the iPhone version of Puzzle & Dragons is now second to LINE in the Japanese App Store ranking for the top grossing apps.

line puzzle dragons

I just checked again (at 5pm JST), and LINE is still leading.

Puzzle & Dragons just entered its 41th consecutive week as Japan’s top money-making iPhone app, a record.

So what happened?

There is speculation that a new set of stickers just introduced on LINE  proved to be extremely popular – so popular, that it made the app overtake Puzzle & Dragons, at least for now:

line brown cony

Just like the other paid sets on LINE, the “Brown & Cony’s Lovey Dovey Date” stickers cost US$1.99 (or 170 Yen).

Given that LINE has 50 million Japanese users with a DAU rate of 50-60%, it’s not surprising that a sudden surge in demand like this can lead to a a spike in sales.

In other words, LINE is theoretically able to repeat this anytime again – just like one often can see many social games in Japan jumping up in the grossing charts for a limited amounted of time, most often after a special in-game event starts and more users start paying more money for a day or two.

I expect things going back to “normal” pretty soon, especially as Puzzle & Dragons is still leading on the grossing charts on Android as well as the iPad.

The stock of Puzzle & Dragons maker GungHo (3765) barely moved today.

Serkan Toto About Serkan Toto
I am the CEO & Founder of Kantan Games, Inc., a Tokyo-based game industry consultancy focused on the Japanese market. Please subscribe to updates on this site via RSS or Email.