This research is aimed at highlighting the most popular settings in the Merge genre. Before diving deeper, it’s good to understand what a game setting is. Game settings describe the environment where the action takes place in a game. For instance, if there are wizards, trolls, and dragons, the setting would be “Fantasy”. The “Real Life” setting implies that characters and objects in the game look and act as those we are used to in real life.
First of all, it is important to examine the dynamics of IAP revenues and downloads of Merge settings. “Dragons” has been the most grossing setting for a long time: from 2017 till the end of 2020. Unsurprisingly, the main contributor to its revenue is Merge Dragons!. “Fairy” is another noteworthy setting. Mostly thanks to EverMerge, this setting has been fast growing in the period from 2020 to 2021 with peak IAP revenue of $15M in March 2021. Starting from this period, “Fantasy” shows a decreasing dynamic and lets “Real Life” take its place. As a result, for the last 2 years the “Real Life” setting has become the most popular and successful setting having earned a record $20M and having 11.5M downloads in January 2023.
Active Grossing Games
By active grossing games, we mean the titles that earned at least $1 in a particular period of time (in this case, a month). The number of active grossing games in each setting represents how popular or narrow the niche is. The most numerous setting is “Real Life” reaching 92 active grossing games in January 2023. The reason for its popularity lies in the wide target audience. With 31 active grossing games in the same period, “Fairy” is another highly popular setting across Merge games. Meanwhile such settings “Cartoons”, “Undersea”, and others occupy a very narrow niche, including only a few titles in them.
The last thing to examine is the IAP revenue market share for the last year. The most numerous setting, “Real Life” owns 45.7% of the market. “Dragons”, due to its hit Merge Dragons!, takes second place with 29.2% of the market, followed by “Fairy” with 22% share.
The choice of setting is a very important decision for game developers. The right setting can be inherently linked with the potential success of a future game as it defines the target audience.
The analysis has shown that across Merge games, “Real Life” became the most popular and grossing setting. In January 2023, it had 92 active grossing games and made up 45.7% of the market’s IAP revenue in 2022. Due to Merge Dragons!, “Dragons” is the second grossing setting owning 29.2% of the market with only 5 titles in it. “Fairy” contains 31 titles with EverMerge in the leaders, holds 22% of IAP revenue and closes the TOP-3 popular Merge settings.
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