Most played games in January; An insight into gaming apps in Germany, India, Indonesia, and Brazil


Saying that Gaming Apps have conquered the mobile marketplace ranking charts is not exaggerating. Smartphone users, regardless of age, have been showing a increasing demand towards mobile gaming applications over the past several years.

For years mobile game apps have been considered to be too unreal and casual when compared to PC or Console ones. However, thanks to the rise of VR and Augmented Reality (AR) technologies, tables may turn.

According to GO-Globe, “mobile games now account for 51% of global revenues in gaming industry”. Another report compiled by BusinessofApps ,using the App Annie app market data, indicates that global mobile app revenues reached over 88 billions dollars and is forecasted to soar to a value of around $188 billion in 2020.

The contents of this article are focused on most used gaming apps in the recently introduced countries by App Ape namely as India, Indonesia, Germany, and Brazil . In particular, this article examines and highlights the differences in user behavior, activity, demographics and other indicators for the top 3 Android gaming applications in all 4 countries in January 2019.


Indonesia: Action all the way

The figure below shows the top 3 gaming apps in Indonesia January rankings. As it can be seen all the apps are action games. Let’s take a deeper look.

“Mobile Legends: Bang Bang”, having twice as many MAUs as the apps in 2nd and 3rd place, is a 5v5 Multiple Online Battle Arena (MOBA) game well-established on the top over the past few months in Indonesia ranking charts. The game is popular with male users in their 20s as shown below which is kind of expected. However, the interesting fact is that the application has over 20% active users in their 10s.

The game is launched 12 times on an average day by active users and despite having a Light User dominant loyalty status, over 40% of users activate it more than a third of the month. Heavy Users who use the app more than 2/3 of the month make up for approximately 25% of total active users. This has only one meaning: The game is super popular and addictive!

On the other hand, the apps in the 2nd and 3rd place seem to be going through quite a competition to gain more active users. App Ape suggests that “PUBG Mobile” and “Garena Free Fire” have been real close in terms of active user data.

“PUBG Mobile” stands for PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and is a true ‘Battle Royal’ mobile game on an 8×8 km island. With 100 players, it’s basically an all-against-all action game which continues till the last standing man. Same as PUBG Mobile, “Garena Free Fire” is also a survival action game where you are put on a remote island with 49 other players and the only goal is to survive. The similarity of these games could well explain the similarity in both apps’ user activity data.

As shown below, the apps have had a favorable growth over the past few months in terms of MAU. However, it seems likely that “Green Free Fire” will reach and beat “PUBG Mobile” sometime in the near future. Let’s not forget that the number of MAUs of both apps has once collided in October 2018. “Garena Free Fire” may gain a stronger competitive advantage over the next few months and obtain the 2nd ranks in the chart.

Monthly Active Rate (MAR) for both apps are the same meaning that out of total users who own the app, 72.8% launch it per month. The daily rate is 50.6% and 44.9% for “PUBG Mobile” and “Garena Free Fire” respectively.

Brazil is still interested in Candy Crush

Once again “Garena Free Fire” is in the top 3 and this time at the absolute top in Brazil January Rankings. It seems like the Singaporean app has been able to catch Brazilian gamers attention.

The game is played 8 times on daily basis, has a 72.4% MAR, and like the top app in Indonesia has Light User dominant usage frequency status meaning majority of active users launched the app less than 1/3 of the month in January.

The Swedish app, Candy Crush Saga, although appears in 2nd place in the MAU rankings , as App Ape data indicates it used to be behind Helix Jump, an arcade game with a ball bouncing through a helix tower labyrinth. Candy Crush took over the second place in December 2018.

Candy Crush Saga, part of Candy Crush franchise which holds a record of over 2 billion downloads (Source: Daily Mail UK, 23 March. 18), is unbelievably most popular with female gamers in their 40s! That’s right…females in their 40s! More interestingly, the female users in every age category dominate the male users as shown below.

The reason may lie in the genre of the game itself. Being a casual puzzle game, it probably doesn’t appeal to the younger generation as they seem to be more into action games as seen in Indonesia!

On the other hand, Helix Jump, developed by a French company called Voodoo, was not in the top 3 chart last month. It beat the famous Clash Royal (an action game) in number of MAUs to secure the 3rd place in January ranking.

“Brawl Stars” Sweeping German Charts

Germany is the only country where Pokemon Go appears in the top 3 (or even the top 10 except for Brazil) app chart. The data collected by App Ape suggest that the number of MAUs have been increasing over the past 6 months and as it can be seen below Pokemon Go has been able to maintain a position in the top 3 chart since August 2018.

Here comes the game that is on the verge of beating Pokémon GO and stealing the top position in the chart. It is called Brawl Stars, another action game by the fabulous Supercell game developers who have brought you the likes of Clash of Clans and Clash Royale. The multiplayer mobile arena ‘fighter/shoot’em up’ game was released only in December 2018 and within such a short time it has been able to climb up to the second rank in German’s gaming category chart.

It is also equally important to note that Pokémon GO and Candy Crush Saga have been fighting for the top place since August 2018 with Candy Crush loosing its position in September, gaining it back in October, back to previous rank in November, and then falling to 3rd place in January 2019 when Brawl Stars had just been released on the market. Something tells us Brawl Stars may soon conquer the top position.

India; love for an ancient, local Board game

And here is again the PUBG Mobile! This time on the top of Indian gaming charts in January. This indicates that the game has a huge popularity in Asia. The app has been having a boost in installs as shown below in Install Rank History graph. However it experienced a bump last month (January).

The 3rd in ranking is Ludo King, a board game that offers a modern look and version of Pachisi which was originated in medieval India and is believed to be the game played by Indian kings and queens. The most interesting fact about this app is that it is the one of the few gaming apps that appears on the top 3 chart in its own country of origin (India). According to the developers, Ludo King, released in 2006, is the first Indian mobile game to have been downloaded more than 100 million times on Google Play.

Having said that, the game has been loosing MAUs since August 2018 based on the figure shown below. The steep fall in number of MAUs allowed Candy Crush Saga in December 2018 to take over the 2nd rank in the chart.

Candy Crush Saga, female-dominated in all other countries, has a quite different, and probably not surprising, gender ratio here. In India, the male users (mostly in their 20s) are controlling the app with a ratio of over 90%.

Game to look out for in the future

App Ape suggests that 8 Ball pool, a billiard gaming app, has been seeing increase in its MAUs. The ranking below shows that the app has climbed up 6 places and secured the 6th place in January gaming app category chart.

The app offers one-on-one or 8-player tournaments of pool game. Taking the growth pace of the app into account, it may be fair to say that 8 Ball Pool could soon appear among the top 3 apps in the chart.

Other games played by top apps’ users

It is also interesting to get an insight into apps that are simultaneously installed and played by the users of the top gaming apps in each country in January 2019. Let’s have a look at the table below.

Those who own a game such as “Mobile Legends: Bang Bang” naturally prefer action games. The results above show exactly that. Not only in Indonesia, even those in Brazil own two other action game apps in addition to the top one (Garena Free Fire).

The data indicate that those who play Pokemon Go, being considered an adventure category game, have also other adventure games (Jurassic Live) installed on their phone. On the other hand, Indian users, where the top game was of action genre, do not seem to show much interest in other action gaming apps. The top simultaneously owned gaming app in India is a car racing game. But let’s not forget that car racing games do involve a lot of action!

The data presented in this article have been collected by App Ape, a mobile app data analytical platform which is the leader of the industry in Japan with more than 5000 clients around the globe.

The various data demonstrated in this article is just a small portion of what App Ape is capable of analyzing. App Ape, consisting of more than 50 indicators, provides detailed and accurate data usage in 7 countries. The indicators include daily, hourly active users (DAU, HAU), number of daily installs, demographics, mutual app possession rate and many many more.

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