Candy Crush Saga maker King Entertainment is “comfortably ahead of others in total time spent on gaming”, with its titles accounting for 26 per cent of total time spent on gaming by Android users in the US, according to Strategy Analytics.
In terms of total sessions – the number of times an app has been engaged – social games giant Zynga, with its “broad portfolio of 20-plus titles,” comes a close second. While the company has not achieved a break-out title – it has just one title (Words With Friends) in the top ten apps for time spent – the range of its portfolio, from Zynga Poker to CastleVille, boosts its session tally.
Perhaps worryingly for King, following question marks about its ability to follow up Candy Crush, its flagship title accounts for more than two thirds of the activity among its portfolio.
Of the other listed publishers, two SuperCell titles – Hay Day and Clash of the Clans – have generated “significant activity among Android users” in their first quarters since appearing on Android.
And for EA, while titles such as FIFA and Madden have drawn attention, Strategy Analytics said that it is pure-play mobile offerings such as The Simpsons Tapped Out that are the ones which show a broad appeal across the user base.
These four publishers make up 43 per cent of time spent on gaming, and 39 per cent of sessions, with the rest split among a wider range of titles.
Bonny Joy, chief of consumer telemetry platforms for Strategy Analytics, said: “Gaming as a category occupies 13 per cent of the time spent across all activities in Q1 2014. Based on our analysis, a typical user engages with gaming apps 17 minutes per day. Our data suggests the current market dynamics is a zero-sum game, where time spent on a new title is likely to come at the expense of another title.”
Barry Gilbert, VP, added: “Unlike other categories such as social and messaging, where a handful of apps completely dominate the segment, the games category is characterised by a fragmented set of apps.”