Mobile gaming is big business. Recent research predicts that by 2016, mobile gaming will be hauling in a total revenue of $28.9bn, a growth of more than 38% of this year’s figure of $20.9bn.
With the increase of casual gamers playing free-to-play games on their smartphones, the approach of game developers has shifted away from bulk acquisition of unique players to a strategy of reengaging and monetising the same users, which allows for a higher overall return on investment.
Finland’s mobile gaming startup scene is a prime example of this shift in action. Over half of all existing game companies in Finland have started in the last two years, and the country’s homegrown successes such as Rovio’s Angry Birds and Supercell’s Clash of Clans are fast becoming global gaming sensations, with over two billion downloads between them.
This list below details the 10 highest grossing iOS mobile games as of April 2014. It’s interesting to point out that three of the top 10 games on this list, originally compiled by Statista, come from Finland.
Clash of Clans – Daily revenue $1,064,964
From Helsinki’s mobile gaming superstar Supercell, this freemium MMO strategy game rakes in daily revenue of $1,064,964. Launched in 2012 on iOS, Clash of Clans pits players against each other online, battling with their armies across the world.
Candy Crush Saga – Daily revenue $842,364
In the ever popular match-three puzzle game franchise, Candy Crush has come out king with a total daily revenue of $842,364. It overtook FarmVille 2 as the most popular game on Facebook in March 2013 with 46 million monthly users.
Game of War – Fire Age – Daily revenue $545,117
Game of War – Fire Age, from creators Machine Zone, gets a daily revenue of $545,117 as of April this year. Similar to Clash of Clans, this online multiplayer strategy has seen massive success in the freemium market.
Farm Heroes Saga – Daily revenue $258,399
From the makers of Candy Crush Saga, King, comes Farm Heroes Saga. Apparently much more interesting than it sounds, Farm Heroes wrenches $258,399 a day from eager mobile gamers.
Boom Beach – Daily revenue $203,922
Another Supercell flagship, Boom Beach is a freemium strategy came allowing players to take on the evil Blackguard. It gets a daily revenue of $203,922.
Hay Day – Daily revenue $171,074
Oh Supercell? Fancy seeing you again. Helsinki turns out another mobile success with Hay Day, a game that lets users "get back to nature and experience the simple life of working the land". Total daily revenue? $171,074.
Big Fish Casino – Daily revenue $143,424
I had never heard of this one but it looks as if everyone else has! With a daily revenue of $143,424, this aquatic themed clot game only has one real winner, creator Big Fish.
Modern War – Daily revenue $120,976
It’s $120,976 a day for Modern War, another cookie-cut strategy game this time set in some pseudo-Middle Eastern theatre of war.
Pet Rescue Saga – Daily Revenue $103,728
Another corker from King, actually based in London (not Helsinki) gets $103,728 a day for letting mobile gamers pretend they’re vets in this match-three puzzler.
The Hobbit: Kingdoms of Middle Earth – Daily Revenue $91,680
Last on our list is a strategy freemium from Kabam, a new entry. Not doing too bad at $91,680, The Hobbit sets you in an "age-old feud between Elves and Dwarves rages as Goblins infest the Misty Mountains and monsters haunt Mirkwood Forest". Excited? Get out your wallet.