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Powder Monkeys Becomes China's Most Popular iOS App in Under 2 Weeks!

Dec 3, 2012 | By:

powdermonkeyWhat a wild week: Late last Friday, after watching our game Powder Monkeys from XMG climb up and down China’s App Store rankings, we finally saw it hit the Number 1 spot on the Top Free Apps chart. It stayed Number 1 all through last weekend, and as of today, it’s still on top. Because free-to-download apps make up the vast majority of the market, Powder Monkeys is currently the most popular iOS app in all of China, an audience of 60 million+. In the two weeks since it’s been in the Store, the game’s been downloaded over half a million times. Kudos to our friends at XMG, who made such a fun, cool, quirky-cute game, and to Chinese gamers, who’ve so far given Powder Monkeys 17,000+ five star ratings.

Even we weren’t sure it would go this big. Things were winding down for the week in the office last Friday, and our beloved Monkeys had already enjoyed a good run on the App Store, hitting as high as #5 on the Free Apps charts. Apple had changed their weekly feature spots, and Powder Monkeys was no longer a featured app (as it was the first week of launch). We did do a final burst of marketing through our own network of games and our cross-promotion partners, but all in all, we thought Monkeys’ days on top had run its course, and that it was time to watch its slow decline from the charts that nearly all good games in the harsh jungles of the iOS App Store face.

Then suddenly, I hear a shout over the cubicle from Carol, my Business Director, telling me that someone was selling Powder Monkeys in-app payment credits on Taobao (basically the eBay of China).

“What the heck?! Send me the link!” I shouted.

A crowd of Yodo1-ers gathered at my monitor as I clicked the browser link, and as bright as day, there it was. (Screencap below.) There were butterflies in my stomach as it dawned on me that if someone was already going through the trouble of selling currency for our game, it must REALLY be popular.

Whipping out my trusty iPhone 5, I clicked on the App Store icon, glared impatiently at the loading screen for 5-10 seconds (yes App Store access in China can be slow) and then, there it was — Powder Monkeys had hit #1! It’s now Monday, 5pm Beijing time as I write this post, and Powder Monkeys is still on top. As some of you will remember from last week’s post, competition on the China App Store is most intense during weekends, as many big publishers spend inordinate amounts of $$$ driving their apps to the top of the charts, so that’s pretty impressive staying power. I’m constantly checking my app analytics screen, and hourly activations continue going through the roof.

I have no idea what’s going to happen to Powder Monkeys over the next few days, but here’s hoping our furry, bra-strapped simian can fend off the competition, and exit the week as the reigning App Store game.

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