I’m something of a card game fanatic: I play and write about Magic: The Gathering a great deal and have worked and advised on a number of card battlers. Whilst the genre is insanely popular in Japan, where Puzzle & Dragons makes $25 million per month, few have managed to crack the West. The standout success however has been DeNA‘s Rage of Bahamut – which has reached over 10 million players worldwide and stayed in the App Store’s top 10 top grossing chart for over 200 days.
Whilst DeNA have been aggressive with user acquisition and strong in monetisation, I believe the game’s success over similar titles comes from a great high-level proposition: A polished, but familiar, high fantasy with light Japanese influence (in the Square model). The game looks and feels like classic fantasy adventure, a genre in which mobile players have been undeserved. The gameplay itself is similar to many other card battlers, but the quality and finish is undeniable.
Have a look at the below infographic, courtesy of DeNA’s Ben Cousins.