Harry Potter Game Gets 100,000 Installs in 1st Month; Gamestop Shares Slump to 16-Year Low

TheGamingEconomy’s Daily Digest brings you the trending stories in gaming. In today’s news: Harry Potter game achieves 100,000 installs in first month; Gamestop shares slump to 16-year low; Zynga launches exclusive Snapchat game.

Harry Potter game achieves 100,000 installs in first month

Harry Potter: Wizards Unite launched into open beta in Australia and New Zealand on 1 May, 2019 and the game, from Niantic and Warner Bros, has been installed over 100,000 times since from the App Store and Google Play, according to Sensor Tower Store Intelligence.

Impressive? Not especially. Those figures mean that the game ranked at number 30 and 29 for all mobile games in Australia and New Zealand respectively in the month of May, with players spending an estimated USD$40,000. Despite the fact that the title didn’t launch on Google Play until 21 May, the platform still managed to account for approximately one third of all spend – something to consider when looking at ASO strategies for both platforms.

Niantic’s own Pokémon GO achieved 3.7 million installs during its first month in the same test markets, albeit not in beta. Harry Potter: Wizards Unite will no doubt be a slow burner, but one that could end up being a cult classic with longevity; something Pokémon GO struggled with. Watch this space.

Gamestop shares slump to 16-year low

US game retailer, Gamestop, has seen its shares slump to a 16-year low, signalling continued tough times for physical gaming retail. Reasons cited are, unsurprisingly, the disconnect between a focus on dwindling game disc purchases, versus the booming trend of game streaming. It’s Blockbuster versus Netflix.

Sales of gaming hardware fell 35%, with falling demand for Xbox One and PlayStation 4 being a root cuase, with software revenue dropping 4.3%. With everyone joining the streaming party, including Apple, Google, and now even Snap, it seems shortsighted of Gamestop not to be making dramatic changes to its current business model, if it wants to survive.

Gamestop’s UK equivalent, Game, has come up against similar challenges in its home market, seeing a 4.7% drop in sales in its first half, yet strict cost-cutting measures have helped pre-tax profits see a boost. Sports Direct International has made a bid for the company, in which it is already a major shareholder, as it believes the company won’t survive the current climate without help. Game also saw the future in 2016, when it launched Belong, its esports arenas.

Zynga launches exclusive title for Snap Games

Zynga, of Farmville, Words with Friends, and Draw Something fame, has launched Tiny Royale, an exclusive title for Snapchat’s new multiplayer gaming platform, Snap Games. Zynga has not had the same success it experienced in its 2012 heyday (just a cursory glance at the company’s share price gives a great insight into the history), so the company no doubt jumped at the chance to develop an exclusive for one of the next big gaming platforms.

With Zynga’s Farmville success on Facebook, the  Snap Games tie-in feels like a logical one, given its multiplayer expertise on social platforms.

In the press release, Will Wu, Snap’s Head of Snap Games, said: “Snap Games is all about exploring new ways for friends to play together and Tiny Royale™ is the perfect example of that. “We jumped at the chance to have a global leader in mobile games like Zynga develop for our platform, and we can’t wait to see what our community thinks about this new way to connect with each other.”