Yesterday at GDC Online, King.com’s Tommy Palm revealed that the move to mobile is definitely paying off for the developer behind the popular “Saga” social games. According to Palm, Bubble Witch Saga is monetizing three times as well on iOS than it does on Facebook.
During his talk at the conference, “Building a multiplatform game business from Facebook to Mobile”, Palm explained how King.com was focused on making social games that develop “seamless and snackable” play experiences across various platforms. The company’s been toying with this for a while, starting with Miner Speed in 2011, but things got serious when Bubble Witch Saga came to iOS at the end of July.
Palm also noted that the majority of iOS in-app purchases comes from iPhone and iPad. 42 percent of the game’s revenue comes from iPads, while 54 percent comes from iPhones. iPod Touch, meanwhile, only accounts for 4 percent of Bubble Witch Saga’s mobile revenue.
The developer is remaining platform agnostic, though, and isn’t ruling out any mobile platform right now. Bubble Witch Saga is set to come to Android in the near future; we’re told a number of other games are coming to both iOS and Android over the next few months. King’s even experimented with Amazon’s Kindle Fire, having launched Bubble Saga for the mobile device earlier this year, although the developer’s been less aggressive on that platform and hasn’t announced any further titles for it since then.
“There’s a three-way war on mobile devices right now between Apple, Android and Amazon,” he explains. “You’ll offend the other two if you take sides, so it’s in our best interest to stay neutral right now.”
Bubble Witch Saga is currently the No. 7 game on Facebook with 3.9 million daily active users. The game’s user numbers have been declining since April, when it hit 6.6 million DAU. In spite of Bubble Witch Saga coming to iOS the Facebook user drop off has continued, which surprised us since we thought the mobile version would bring more players when it launched due to its implementation of Facebook Connect. Palm tells us its unusual for lapsed players to pick up the game on iOS and return to it on the social network. Instead, he says players tend to stay loyal to one platform, so those who move over to playing the game on mobile devices tend to stay on the mobile platform.
The mobile loyalty is continuing to prove true. Our traffic-tracking service AppData shows the iOS version of the game is now the No. 121 topp free game, the No. 193 top free iPad app, the No. 74 top iPad game, the No. 105 top grossing app, he No. 84 top-grossing game, the No. 59 top grossing iPad app and the No. 40 top grossing iPad game.