Collectible Card Games (CCGs) are really flourishing on mobile devices according to a new study by SuperData Research. While relatively-simple card games, like Rage of Bahamut and Marvel: War of Heroes, were quite successful on mobile a few years ago, this new research shows that players have shifted to more complicated CCGs, like Blizzard’s Hearthstone (Free), and this shift has brought with it a startling amount of money that has placed CCGs at the top of mobile gaming genres in terms of revenue. According to the report, the portability and popularity of mobile devices have created an excellent environment for CCG players, many of which have transitioned from playing physical CCGs to digital ones.
What makes CCGs such a fascinating category, always according to the report, is the way they combine micro-transactions with strategic, competitive game play, a combination that will continue to inspire the gaming industry at large in the future. In other words, unlike games like Clash of Clans, CCGs don’t give the (true or false) impression that the IAPs are there to “trick" the player into spending more money. The study also reveals some interesting data about CCG player demographics: apparently, it’s one of the most male-dominated gaming categories, with about 80% being male, and an average age of 31.
The study then goes on to highlight the huge role Hearthstone has played in this explosion of CCGs on mobile, claiming that the game has done for CCGs what World of Warcraft did for MMOs, making a demanding genre much more accessible. Hearthstone currently brings in an amazing $20 million a month and is played by around 8 million players on PC and 9 million on mobile. To help you understand the game’s dominance, in 2014 Hearthstone had more than double the revenue of its closest CCG rival, Marvel: War of Heroes. This amazing success has, of course, influenced many other developers who are trying hard to replicate Blizzard’s success, with EA and Bethesda both developing CCGs. So, it looks like CCGs aren’t only here to stay, but will soon rule the mobile gaming world, which will probably translate to 10 bad ones for every good one. Still, I’ve always felt that tablets and mobile phones are perfect for CCGs, so I’m glad to see that the industry and players share that view. If you want to take a closer look at the report, go here.