Emerging Top-Grossing iOS Apps: Popular Apps Spike With New Content Updates

The top grossing apps list are spread thin this week with many of the top 50 consisting of older titles that have long since been inhabitants of them. Nevertheless, new faces did emerge with the past week and those that have been seen before have had a great deal of updates adding new game modes, items, and features.

New Titles Within Top Grossing iPhone Apps List

Crime CityCrime City — Since its release, Crime City from social games developer Funzio (whose last round of funding was worth $20 million) has been doing consistently well on the top iOS charts. Now, the game hits #4 partially due to a September 8th update. The role-playing game in which players work with friends to take over properties, complete missions, and build their own criminal neighborhood now allows players to customize their avatar to the way they see fit; an evidently popular request from game players. Additionally, the update added in several new items and areas. In terms of monetization, the game is a free-to-play title that utilizes in-app purchases for both virtual and earnable in-game currency.

Plants vs. Zombies — Casual games maker PopCap Games recently hosted a sale for all of its games this past weekend, which has helped to boost Plants vs. Zombies up to #8. However, the popular tower defense-style game, in which players use various projectile-spouting flora to defend against a horde of undead — is also growing due to its recent content update on September 8th. PopCap has added in nine new mini-games for players that can be bought in Crazy Dave’s in-game shop. Along with new Game Center achievements, the app also now hosts special items in the shop that will earn players extra coins (Sunflower’s Golden Chest, Marigold’s Coin Pot, and Stinky’s Secret Stash) that can be purchased for $0.99 in-app. Plants vs. Zombies is also a paid app at $2.99. It’s $6.99 iPad version is ranked at #26, but has not yet received the same update.

CityVille Hometown —The #14 application on the top paid iPhone apps list is another familiar face, CityVille Hometown. A past top grossing app as well, the city building game that tasks players with managing a town and its economy of income, resources, and housing has now received new content as of September 10th. Along with new limited edition items, the game now boasts a new inventory system, the ability to rush crop and building production, new Chinese and Japanese language support, and the most sought after feature, acquiring neighbors from an in-game community rather than through just Facebook. CityVille Hometown’s developer is social company, Zynga, who reportedly purchased Astro Ape Studios last month to improve its mobile app development efforts. Hometown is currently #45 on iPad.

Zombie HighwayZombie Highway — Zombie Highway is another older application that was last updated September 8th. The title was made free-to-play last week, for an unknown amount of time, shooting it up the top free app charts, as high as #1. The title is a driving game in which players attempt to survive as long as possible while zombies leap onto their car and attempt to tip it. Players defend by scrapping them off on debris or with old-fashioned bullets (though ammo is limited). Now, the title is #29 on the top grossing list as it has added in a means to unlock content through in-app purchases that range from $0.99 to $3.99. It is credited to developer RenderPaz Studios, a California-based company centered around mobile games and founded just last year.

Justin.tv — The final iPhone highlight of the day comes in at #40 with the August 10th-updated application, Justin.tv. The company of Justin.tv is a web media outfit that allows its users to stream live video over the web in over 250 countries. The iOS application, which costs $4.99, allows players to do the same, but from their iPhone. Additionally, users can watch around 2,500 live channels from Justin.tv, chat with other viewers, and share what they’ve liked via social feeds such as Facebook and Twitter. Justin.tv was also a top paid application from yesterday.

New Titles Within Top Grossing iPad Apps List

MachinariumMachinarium — It was the top paid app yesterday, and now the $4.99, award-winning game of Machinarium is #2 on the top grossing iPad apps list. The game is an iPad 2-only adventure and puzzle style of game in which players control an exiled robot that must sneak back into the city that kicked him out (Machinarium) in order to save it, its people, and his robot girlfriend. With an almost storybook-style of art, the play is centered around finding and collecting key items as well as logic-based puzzles and problems to solve. It is credited to a small indy studio out of the Czech Republic by the name of Amanita Design. Currently, Machinarium is its first noted game on iOS, but the 2003-founded company has produced several other independent games. Machinarium was released only September 8th.

Monster Pet Shop — As of September 8th, Capcom’s social and mobile studio of Beeline Interactive (who reported $15.5 million in the revenue last quarter) is rising up the top grossing charts with the #26 title, Monster Pet Shop. Free-to-play and monetizing through the in-app purchases of virtual currency, the application is a virtual pet style of game in which players raise different varieties of monsters — caring for them, playing with them, and feeding them — until they are ready to be sold. Players must breed and raise creatures based on customer requests to make a sale, and must experiment to figure out the best way to care for each individual monster personality. Monster Pet Shop is also ranked #22 on iPhone

Kate Arrow – Deserted Wood HD — In at #33 is the adventure and hidden object game of Kate Arrow – Deserted Wood HD. Yet another notch in the adventure game belt of casual games maker and publisher Big Fish Games, the title puts users into the shoes of Kate Arrow. Kate must travel into the jungle in order to find her grandfather as well as deliver a mysterious artifact to an indigenous tribe of people that saved his life in the past. Released September 8th, the game follows Big Fish Games’ typical monetization method for its adventure apps, meaning that it is free-to-download, but costs $6.99, in-app,  to unlock in full. Also, per the company’s standard, the price is reduced 30 percent as an introductory cost.

MadPadMadPad HD – Remix Your Life — Another new app breaches the top 50 grossing iPad apps list at #44. Released September 8th, MadPad HD is the latest musical machination of California’s social and mobile application maker, Smule. MadPad allows players to take images and sounds from everyday life and puts them together into a visual soundboard. From here, players simply tap on the images to play corresponding sounds and can then remix them into their own composition. Once finished, creations can be shared via YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, or email. A top paid app from yesterday, MadPad HD currently costs $2.99.

Martha Stewart Living Magazine for iPad — The last highlight for iPad comes in at #48 and is the digital magazine, Martha Stewart Living Magazine for iPad. Created by Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, the app is a digital rendition of the popular magazine and features everything from cooking to decorating tips. Considering the season, the focus is now currently on topics centric to autumn and Halloween. To monetize, the app offers the ability to purchase individual issues for $3.99 as well as subscribe for $1.99, $11.99, or $19.99 on a monthly, six month, or annual basis.