Game developers looking to be ranked top on US Apple App Store charts have to work harder than before.
Data from Sensor Tower shows that mobile games need 47% more downloads to be ranked top this year compared to 2016.
Reaching the top ranks needs 174 000 downloads. That is 85% over the 94 000 required installs for non-game apps.
The median number of app installs for non-game apps dropped 31% this year.
However, there is some good news: the iPhone app installs for non-game apps went up 33% since 2016 on the app store. The median number of downloads for non-games to be ranked high dropped by 34%.
The decline is more blatant on Google Play charts where daily downloads to rank top dropped 65% to get to 74 000. The decrease focusses on apps like Pandora, Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, and Messenger.
The findings could be interpreted as the app market flooding and the downloads of popular apps like Facebook dropping. Bitmoji and Snapchat were the last apps to have high download success, exceeding 3.5 million in 2017.
One then wonders about the top 10 gaming categories.
Sensor Tower says that Video and Photo apps set the bar high with a 16 000 median for daily downloads. Shopping apps followed closely at 15 300, followed by Social Networking, Entertainment, and Productivity at 14 500, 12 600 and 12 400 respectively.
It is hardest to get to the top 10 in China. Non-game apps need close to 91 000 downloads there compared to US’ 49 000.
India outranks any other country on Google Play, needing 256 000 downloads for non-game apps and 117 000 for game apps.
The latest data shows that things become different when it comes to games. The rise of hyper-casual games may be responsible for driving the increase in the required download numbers.
Twenty-eight games hit number one on App Store charts this year, but only four were non-hyper-casual.
Hyper-casual game downloads for Google Play were consistent with the median increasing from 70 000 to 116 000 – 66% growth. Overall, game downloads on Google Play dropped 16%.