The Real Arcade top 10 list is fun to watch

Discussion in 'Development & Distribution' started by James C. Smith, Jul 1, 2005.

  1. James C. Smith

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    [Edit: This is a very old post. The excel document mentioned is no longer keep up to date. All up to date data is not kept in a web based database that can be queried in many different ways by going to www.game-sales-charts.com]

    Once again I have updated this excel document to include the latest data from the Real Arcade top 10 sellers list. For those who are not familiar with this document, I keep a history of all the top 10 selling games. I usually update the document on the web sever every week and occasional I post comments about it in this forum. You can read previous comment in this other thread.

    Here is this weeks top 10 seller list with a little historic perspective on each one.

    1. Wheel of Fortune (1st Week in top 10)
    2. Mah Jong Jade Expedition (2nd Week in top 10. Up from #7)
    3. Tumblebugs (6th week in top 10. Down from #1)
    4. Chuzzle Deluxe (5th week in top 10)
    5. Magic Ball 2 New Worlds (3rd week in top 10. Down from #2)
    6. Luxor (15th week in top 10. Down from #5)
    7. Big Kahuna Reef (3rd recent week in top 10. Down from #3. 15th appearance in all time weekly top 10)
    8. Insaniquarium Deluxe (1st recent week in top 10. 12th appearance in all time weekly top 10)
    9. Diner Dash (19th week in top 10)
    10. Wild West Wendy (4th week in top 10. Down from #6)

    Congratulation to Mystery Studio for last 4 weeks and counting. I hope Wild West Wendy can stay in the top 10 at least a few more weeks but it looks like this could be the last week.

    Big Kahuna Reef had a good 12 week appearance in the top 10 list back in late January though early April. After a long absence from the top 10 list, Real networks recently ran a temporary price reduction special on Big Kahuna Reef which generated enough sales to propel it up to the #5 spot in the list. From there is climbed to #3 the next week and now down to #7.

    Insaniquarium is currently in a similar situation. It was originally in the top 10 for 11 weeks starting last September. A recent 50% off promotion pumped it up enough to make it into the top 10 again.

    This is the first week that Bejeweled 2 is not in the top 10. It was in the top 10 for 31 consecutive weeks! It was in the top 5 for 23 of those weeks. It held one of the top 3 spots for 12 of those weeks. I doubt we have seen the last of this power house seller.

    Other recent exits from the top 10 include Mahjong Garden To Go which had a 7 week run in the top 10 with a peek at the #2 spot in the list. Casino Island To Go lasted 7 weeks and peeked at #2. Charm Solitaire lasted 4 weeks and also peeked at #2. Tradewinds 2 lasted 5 weeks with a peek at the #4 spot in the list. Magic Ball 2 was originally in the top 10 for 13 weeks, was gone for a while, and then came back for a 4 week encore initiated by a promotion. It’s second exit form the top 10 list occurred in sync with the introduction of “New Worlds” version of Magic Ball 2.

    A few other games recently made single week appearance in the top 10 and immediately fell off the radar. They include Astro Avenger, Oasis, Fruit Lockers, and Break Quest.
     
    #1 James C. Smith, Jul 1, 2005
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2006
  2. soniCron

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    Thanks yet again for that, James! It's very interesting to see the trends of each game through time. However, I fear that keeping track of only one of the Big Five(tm) is somewhat limiting the survey pool. I am considering tracking Yahoo! Games, Big Fish, Reflexive, and Shockwave's top 10 as well. This should give a good variety of market penetration. At the very least, it would be a good guide for deciding on a release date for a heavily competing title! Since you are over there at Reflexive, any chance you could do the "hard work" for us by posting some stats every so often? ;)
     
  3. James C. Smith

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    One of the reasons I only track Real is that it is the only portal I know that that publicly posts weekly top 10 sales data. All the others have a very ambiguous list. Many of them are top 10 downloaded games or top 10 “recommendedâ€￾ games. I am confident that Real’s list is actually based on sales. I can not say the same of any of the other “big 5â€￾. And many of them are based on undisclosed ranges of time and undisclosed update intervals.

    In the case of Reflexive Arcade we don’t make the weekly data publicly available. The public Reflexive Arcade does have an option to display a list of top sellers but they are for a sliding 30 day window of time that is updated daily. A game that sells great for 7 days and then tapers off quickly may never make it into the top 10 for the sliding 30 day window. Reflexive Arcade also has a very skewed audience. It attracts the people who want to buy the games made by Reflexive. The top 10 sellers consistently include at least 3 games made by Reflexive and often more. This is not a realistic sample that is relevant to anyone else.
     
    #3 James C. Smith, Jul 1, 2005
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2005
  4. soniCron

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    It obviously wouldn't help when deciding a particular game to develop. But knowing how much promotion and "shelf time" these guys are giving out is of great help when knowing when to launch. I know I don't want to launch a match 3 ball game when Luxor is and has been the highest promoted game for the past 3 weeks. ;)
     
  5. Mike Boeh

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    That doesn't sound like very good marketing to me! :)
     
  6. Robert Cummings

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    Thanks james! always welcome and always interesting. Would be nice to estimate how many sales these games get. But of course, the position on the top 10 indicate sales...

    But how many sales does each slot get on average per week? for example, does the no.1 slot get 1000 sales a week? How about the 10th slot?
     
  7. Sirrus

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    Again a great service James...

    So I'm curious as to how benefiticial only four weeks in the top ten is...
    Bought your yacht yet? ;)

    Seriously though, is the surge of sales so significant that after that month of glory, your set for your next title?
     
  8. ggambett

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    Thanks - coming from you, I must say I'm honored. I don't think it will stay in the top ten for another week either, but we're quite happy with what we've achieved so far!
     
  9. Anthony Flack

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    Times really have changed, eh? A couple of years back we were talking about the long shelf life of indie games compared to retail.
     
  10. simonh

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    It's scary just how many quality games barely make an impact on the charts these days.

    It just reinforces the need not to become over-relient on portals.
     
  11. Robert Cummings

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    I can't say it hurts being reliant on portals as you'll always be able to flog the game from your site. I'm seeing some predictable trends though... it's not a suprise that good looking games are dropping out.
     
  12. lakibuk

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    You can't just put your game on your website and wait until people buy it. You have to do marketing to get demo downloads. This is a lot of work and a difficult task.
    What is the predictable trend you are seeing?
     
  13. James C. Smith

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    Downloadable games can have very long shelf lives. These charts are only the top 10 sells for each week. Places like Real almost never “pull a game off the shelfâ€￾. It just gets removed from the special promo area in the front of the store and thown on the heap of games in the back. Brick and mortar retailes never keep old games around the way on-line portals do. RealArcade sells a lot of other games every week other then the top 10. Crimsonland and Swarm have never been in the top 10 at real but they still generate a steady stream of revenue from Real. And of coerce your own web site, or other affiliate sites, can do an even better job of generating long term sales. Crimsonland and Swarm are several years old and they do very well on our own web site. Ricochet Xtreme is 3 years old and it is still consistently in the top 10 or 12 sellers on our own web site if you look at the 30 day sliding window. It doesn't compete well with the new game of the week, but on the 30 day time scale it is consistently a good performer.

    The other side of the argument is that games in the top 10 on big portals sell many more copies that the games not in the top 10. And it is hard to crack the top 10 or stay there for very long. That is all true. But many people make a successful business (or hobby) out of selling games that are in the top for very little or no time. The small stream of sales just continues to roll in year after year. The sales may drop off sharply when you fall out of the top 10, but the game is never pulled out of the store. It sells forever.
     
  14. Robert Cummings

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    I think everyone knows that.


    Predictable trends? This should be obvious to you. For every no.1 big hit, the clones will do reasonably well by default. For the others, you can make an educated guess by looking at the game itsself. Most of the popular games in the top 10 are... suprisingly... quite good?

    I don't think wheel of fortune is going to stay up long either.
     
  15. Anthony Flack

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    I guess the change is simply that people now focus much more intently on that little window of opportunity, with the hopes of making most of the money back there. We don't see so much of the incrementally-improved games.
     
  16. James C. Smith

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    It’s time once again to review the weekly top 10 sellers in RealAarcde and see how it compares to previous weeks. (see the whole history in this excel document)

    1. Aloha Solitaire (2nd week in top 10. Up from #6 last week)
    2. Wheel of Fortune (3rd week in top 10. Down from #1 last two weeks)
    3. Tumblebugs (8th week in top 10. Down from #2)
    4. Luxor (17th week in list. Up from #5 last week and #6 the week before)
    5. Mahjong Jade Expedition (2nd week in list. Down from #4)
    6. Chuzzle Deluxe (7th week in list. Up from #8 last week but down compared to the top 4 status it held the previous 5 weeks)
    7. Snowy - Treasure Hunter (1st week in list)
    8. Bubble Fish Bob (1st week in list)
    9. Magic Ball 2 New Worlds (5th week in list. Down from #7)
    10. Diner Dash (21st week in list! Down from #9)

    Recent departures include:
    • Wild West Wendy: Lasted 4 weeks holding the #4, #3, #6, and then #10 spots.
    • Big Kahuna Reef: Totaled 15 weeks in the top 10. Originally lasted 12 weeks but recently came back for a 3 week encore after Real ran a temporary price cut promotion. During the recent weeks it held #5, then #3 and then #7 spots.
    • Insaniquarium. Totaled 13 weeks in the top 10. Originally lasted 11 weeks but recently came back for a 2 week encore after Real ran a temporary price cut promotion. During the recent weeks it held #8 then #3 spots.
    • Astro Avenger appeared in the weekly top 10 twice. It debuted at #8 and was gone the next week. But it came back for one more week and #10 and is now gone again.

    Didn’t make the cut:
    • Platypus was originally in the top 10 for 12 week but has been out of the list since last September. Real recently ran a sale on Platypus and featured it in the newsletter and on the web site but it still couldn’t get back into the top 10. This weeks newsletter still promoted Platypus so maybe it will be in next weeks top 10.

      Last week Real promoted 4 new games in their newsletter and on the web site. Of these 4 games, Aloha Solitaire made it into the top 10 but these 3 did not:
    • Twistingo: “As the rolling marbles move in, look for matches on your bingo card†Zuma meets bingo? I don’t know. I didn’t play it but that’s what the deciption makes me think.
    • Hyperballoid The Next Challenge: A sequal to a breakout game.
    • Chowder: A Feeding Frenzy clone made by the creators of Snood using real time 3D polygons. I thought this game had surprisingly bad production values and I was surprised Real Networks released it. I am not surprised to see it didn’t make the top 10.
     
    #16 James C. Smith, Jul 15, 2005
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2005
  17. soniCron

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    I wouldn't be surprised if it went something like this, "From the Snood guy? We've got a winner!"
     
  18. bantamcitygames

    Administrator Original Member Indie Author Greenlit

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    Thats the only explaination I can think of also.
     
  19. Ricardo C

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    Chowder is actually pretty fun to play, and the mouse control is excellent, but yeah... Where Snood's graphics were "so bad they're good", Chowder's are just plain bad. Dave, put some of that Snood cashola into hiring a better artist!
     
  20. Savant

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    Well, evidently that money is doing more good in his bank account since it doesn't really seem to matter. He's got his audience and that audience allows him to have bad graphics. We should all be so lucky. :)
     

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