GameRefinery shares mobile game market review: May 2023

May GameRefinery bulletin: League of Legends: Wild Rift Introduces new monetization model, Niantic’s Peridot sees moderate success, Lord of the Rings: Heroes of the Middle-Earth faces challenges.

GameRefinery, a Liftoff company, has released its latest analysis of the US, China, and Japan’s key mobile games markets for May 2023. GameRefinery’s analysts have hand-picked their top updates from May’s data for each country, including new releases, special events, and game updates.

May was also an interesting month for new releases, with two massive titles struggling to hit the ground running. Niantic’s latest follow-up to its prolific Pokémon Go, Peridot, dropped out of the highest-grossing titles almost as quickly as it arrived. While the newest game from the creators of Galaxy of Heroes, Lord of the Rings: Heroes of the Middle-Earth, has struggled to find users despite being based on a colossal fantasy IP.

The report’s highlights are:

  • League of Legends: Wild Rift significantly changed its cosmetic item monetization model by introducing permanent purchasable gachas for the first time. The gacha, known as Hextech Chests, uses a unique skin shard crafting system The update, which also launched a new Wild Pass season, has caused the third-highest revenue spike in the game’s history.
  • Niantic pursued their next Pokémon GO-level hit with the launch of another AR/location-based game, Peridot, which quickly visited the top 200 grossing at launch but dropped out shortly after. It currently hovers between the top 200-300 grossing.
  • Lord of the Rings: Heroes of the Middle-Earth, the new character collector turn-based RPG from the team behind EA’s Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes, has struggled to make the same impact as its predecessor. Despite being based on a highly-popular fantasy IP, the title has experienced low downloads and a slow financial performance. 
  • GODDESS OF VICTORY: NIKKE celebrated its half-anniversary with a large-scale event, OverZone, that tells the dark story of the desperate final days before the apocalypse. It includes a new explorable area, story and battle levels, a battle pass, missions, login rewards, and an exclusive shop.
  • Brawl Stars overhauled its in-game store to feature more cosmetics. Initially, the game only offered a small selection of skins that changed each day, whereas, under the new catalog system, players can purchase almost any skin, pin, spray, or avatar they want from one unified shop using a new cosmetic currency, Bling.
  • Love & Pies added a new store, the Heart Shop, where players can purchase items by spending Hearts. This new currency is collected by playing any in-game event, enabling the new store to engage players more than any single event could collectively. 

The full report can be accessed at GameRefinery’s website.

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