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.
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:
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.