Home / Uncategorized / Squid Game Mobile Games – What Made the Charts? | Pocket Gamer.biz

Squid Game Mobile Games – What Made the Charts? | Pocket Gamer.biz

Netflix released Squid Game on September 17, 2021.

Over 132 million people saw the show in the first 23 days of its release, with 4.4 million new subscribers joining the platform. It’s a new record for Netflix, overtaking Bridgerton’s number one.

Netflix has even announced that it is developing its own localized Squid Game video game to increase its popularity in regions like North America.

Netflix isn’t the only one benefiting from this Korean battle royale show. The world has been inundated with memes, Halloween costumes, and merch based on the show. The mobile game markets haven’t escaped notice – hundreds of Hypercasual games have hit app stores, all inspired by the show.

With the topic still trending, GameAnalytics dipped into the data to determine which of the 200+ titles made it to the top of the charts.

All of the following data comes from GameIntel – GameAnalytics’ market intelligence tool designed to study industry trends and track the charts across the mobile gaming market.

Users can see the top hits for all major nations, view global hits and top performing publishers, view performance and usage estimates, and much more.

Why is Squid Game such a good mobile game?

If you haven’t seen the show before, contestants must pass six rounds of challenges based on children’s Korean games. There are tug of war, candy carving, and various dice games (plus the now famous red light, green light), all of which have simple, easy-to-understand core mechanics. All of this makes each round just a hyper-casual title in itself.

Netflix essentially handed the developers a slab of hyper-casual gaming concepts with a trend all of their own. Millions of gamers want to try these “tests” for themselves and are turning to the gaming industry to make them come true.

Insights from GameIntel

Earliest game started: 闯关 游戏 模拟器 – 抠 糖饼

The earliest game we can see in the top charts for the App Store is 闯关 游戏 模拟器 – 抠 糖饼 by 成 蛟 何 (which loosely translates as “Breakthrough Game Simulator-Sugar Biscuit”). It kicked off in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan on September 29, just 12 days after Squid Game was released (yes, that fast), and hit number two on the charts shortly afterwards.

It copies all of the challenges from Squid Game. Interestingly, however, the developers chose to include the keywords “sugar”, “biscuit” and “simulator” in the title. This could be due to the popularity of the second round in Squid Game, which suggests that players are looking for it on the App Store.

Although it launched on September 29, it didn’t reach the top 20 in China until October 2. It’s impressive to get on the charts from launch in just a few days. The game stayed in the top charts for the first few weeks and then dropped to # 67 on October 18 (just a month after the show aired). Most likely due to a few other squid game-based titles that have made their way into the charts.

The first game to make it worldwide: K-Games Challenge

The next game to hit the global charts was Supercent’s K-Games Challenge. Similarly, it includes all of the rounds shown on the TV show. It kicked off on October 2nd and hit the charts in Portugal and Brazil on October 4th.

This was the first Squid Game title to make it worldwide, just two and a half weeks after the series first released on Netflix. On October 5th, it hit the charts in the United States, France, Canada, Russia, Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, and more.

It reached number one in almost every country on October 6th, making it the first game to really take advantage of the squid game trend.

K-Games Challenge currently has a rating of 4.5 with 17,300 ratings on the US App Store. Similar to the previous game, it stayed in the top charts until October 18 before falling behind. It now ranks 190th on the games table and 60th in simulation.

Most successful game without exception: Candy Challenge 3D

Candy Challenge 3D, created by Idil Morgul, was released on October 2nd.

That title didn’t make it into the charts until October 7th (20 days after the show was released). Unlike the previous two titles, this game focuses on the second challenge on the show: cutting a shape out of a honeycomb without breaking it. Not only does the game contain the keyword “Candy” in its name, most of the images and descriptions used relate to this particular challenge.

Candy Challenge 3D has stayed in the charts since October 7th and has hit number one multiple times in several markets. It was the top-ranked game on the charts and was in the top 10 for the longest time of all the games examined. It also has the highest rating, with an average score of 4.58 from over 37,000 reviews.

At least three games in the global top 10 charts are Squid Game titles

From October 9th until October 25th, at least three games inspired by “Squid Game” were in the top 10 of the game charts in almost all countries.

At its peak, almost every country studied had around four or five Squid Game-inspired games in the top 20 games.

Since then, only two games have made it to the top of the charts on a regular basis; Candy Challenge 3D by Idil Morgul and Survival Game – 3D Challenge by Kien Nguyen. This shows how fleeting trends in the mobile games industry can be and how important it is to jump on them quickly, creatively and in a personable way.

“Challenge” is the top keyword for the chart-topping Squid Game title

Of the top squid-game-style games we’ve seen in the top 20 charts since they started, 70 percent contain the keyword “challenge”. Presumably for IP reasons, none of these games use Squid Game in the title (or at least shouldn’t). But they all incorporated recognizable elements of the show into the descriptions and titles.

  • Candy challenge 3D
  • K games challenge
  • All challenges – survival game
  • survive challenge 3D
  • Survival Game – 3D challenge
  • Survival Games: Life challenge
  • Dalgona challenge 3D!
  • 闯关 游戏 模拟器 – 抠 糖饼 – “Breakthrough Game Simulator Sugar Cookie”
  • Bridge Race Master
  • Biscuit carver

Some games just copy the art style

While the game isn’t about Squid Game, we’ve seen titles incorporate the iconic mask into their thumbnails and other elements to quickly jump on the trend. Supersonic Studios’ Bazooka Boy was originally released in August 2020.

The symbol used to be a yellow avatar holding a bazooka. In their latest update, dated October 15, they changed their icon to incorporate a “legally unique” Squid Game mask and assault rifle. A reference to the guards on the show.

The game’s ranking is stable. But since the move it has hit the top charts again, reaching number 14 in India on October 6th. But this is still a unique way to increase the traffic and popularity of your game without making major updates to your game.

Or they use Squid Game in their ads

Some developers are jumping on the trend and using the theme of the show and the featured games in their promotional strategy. One of the ads for Shelter War: Last City includes the Red Light Green Light mini-game, but there is no evidence that it is in the game itself.

It’s clear that some developers are drawing on the show’s success in a number of ways, particularly to streamline their user acquisition campaigns.

Squid Game is still taking the market by storm

It’s only been a couple of weeks since the show was released, but thanks to GameIntel, GameAnalytics has found a growing number of games on the charts that all use the Squid Game theme in some way.

You can also log into GameIntel and start digging yourself. There’s even a free version to try out.


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