GungHo Entertainment’s hit game Puzzle & Dragons is probably the most successful mobile game in history, at least in terms of revenue. In the last quarter, the game was making almost $5 million per day.
The game has 17 million users in its home market of Japan, but up until just recently we haven’t had many metrics on how it has been doing in North America . Now the game has now reached the 1 million downloads mark in that region, which is still not very much – but it’s a good start. P&D peaked number 7 on the top grossing charts, and it will be interesting to see if it can making good money in that market.
Most people outside Japan likely still relatively new to the game. And speaking as a fan of the game myself, I admit it can be a little tricky to understand at first. I’ve given a little bit of an introduction and how-to video for Puzzle & Dragons here if you’d like to check it out. But one of the reasons that I’m optimistic about P&D is the fact that we’ve seen various peripheral fan content and utilities springing up around it. There is the Puzzle & Dragon Database, the Puzzle & Dragon Forum, and an active sub-Reddit. In addition, their Facebook page now has over 42,000 fans.
And recently there is also the app PadGuide which is a really big help for newcomers to the game. In P&D, there are lots of events that suddenly occur which offer an opportunity to collect rare monsters – but the problem is that you don’t really know when they are going to happen. What PadGuide offers is a calendar of upcoming events so that you can be a little more opportunistic about when you play – you can even set alarms for specific events.
The app also has a library of the games monsters and dungeons, which is handy if you need to check what monsters you’ll meet so that you can prepare your team accordingly.
The app comes from Korean developer D&Tech Consulting, and is available for free with some ads displayed. Surprisingly this app recently broke into the top ten in South Korea’s iOS Utilities category. That’s not too bad for a simple game-tips app of this sort.
On a related note, Puzzle & Dragons also recently surpassed 1 million users in Korea. So GungHo’s strategy is clearly to focus on mature mobile markets where consumers are known to spend money.
It will be interesting to see if they make a move to go after the relatively mature markets of Taiwan and Hong Kong too, perhaps as a testing ground before later hitting the larger but less lucrative mainland China market .