Emerging Top Paid iOS Apps: EA Dominates With Holiday Sales

The week after Christmas is a boon to app sales, as iTunes gift cards and shiny new devices give people plenty of reason to purchase apps. This year developers responded with big sales, and while almost every large publisher was discounting apps, by far and away EA got the most benefit from its across the board $0.99 sale, landing 15 apps in the top 50 of the iPhone charts and 17 apps on the top 50 iPad charts when we did our count on Christmas Day.

This Week’s Top Paid iPhone Apps

Santa Tracker 2011 – This year Christmas brought a wave of Santa apps, both free and paid. At the time of writing there were actually several paid Santa tracking apps on the charts, but Talus Media’s Santa Tracker 2011 was by far the most popular of them all, sitting in the #9 spot on the paid iPhone app charts. Packed with more features than most other Santa apps, Santa Tracker 2011 allows parents to “track” Santa as he circles the globe, read Santa’s blog, and view Santa’s official Nice List, all for $0.99. The app also supports in-app purchases for extra features like sending and receiving texts from Santa.

[Update] Doodle Jump – Lima Sky may have released a special Christmas version of Doodle Jump, but the original version has proven to be more popular, rising two spots to be the #15 paid iPhone app this week. The game was last updated on December 20th with a new Ice Blizzard expansion that added new types of platforms and new monsters. Doodle Jump costs $0.99.

Sonic the Hedgehog – While it hasn’t been updated since July of 2010, Sega’s 2D sidescroller Sonic the Hedgehog has risen back up the charts to the #26 spot thanks to the developer’s $0.99 holiday sale. An extremely faithful port, Sonic the Hedgehog features all seven zones from the original console game, but doesn’t add any new features like achievements or Game Center support.

Monopoly – EA’s holiday sales paid off big this week with many older apps rising up the charts. Monopoly is this week’s #37 paid app thanks to a price cut that dropped the cost to $0.99. A fairly straight forward adaptation of the classic board game, the iPhone app features Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Pass ‘N Play Multiplayer modes and three levels of difficulty. Monopoly was last updated on September 2nd.

Mega Man X – Capcom closes out the paid charts this week its classic Super Nintendo Game, Mega Man X. Rather than a straight port of the original, the iPhone version features new, smoother graphics, three different difficulty modes, Game Center achievements and somewhat controversially, in-app purchases. While some purists have complained the new $4.99 iPhone version makes the notoriously difficult game too easy, it has still sold well, and is currently the #44 paid iPhone app.

This Week’s Top Paid iPhone Apps

FIFA SOCCER 12 by EA SPORTS for iPAD – EA wins the iPad rankings this week thanks to the $0.99 holiday sale that pushed FIFA SOCCER 12 by EA SPORTS for iPAD from #83 all the way into the #1 spot on the paid charts. The game features 22 officially licensed leagues, 500 teams and 15,000 real players. It was last updated on December 15th to add iOS 5 optimization, new daily challenges and in-app purchases that allow player to add money to their club’s budget to buy better players.

Grand Theft Auto 3 – Rockstar’s popular iOS version of Grand Theft Auto 3 doesn’t slip too far down the iPad charts this week despite stiff competition from EA’s holiday priced apps. Down to $2.99 for Rockstar’s own holiday sale, the title is a faithful port of the PS2 classic.

[Update] A Charlie Brown Christmas – Yet another app that’s on sale for Christmas, Vancouver BC-based Loud Crow Interactive has discounted their interactive iPad version of A Charlie Brown Christmas down to $0.99 as part of an 85% off sale. The app features all-new narration, remastered illustrations, animations, music and educational features. The app also has an in-app store where users can purchase extra features and minigames.

Monopoly Here & Now: The World Edition for iPad – EA gets not one, but two Monopoly games on this week’s charts with Monopoly Here & Now: The World Edition for iPad occupying the #34 spot. A global take on Monopoly that allows players to buy and collect property all over the world, the game includes a tabletop mode, cheats and online multiplayer. Monopoly Here & Now: The World Edition for iPad is currently on sale for $0.99.

Kingdom Rush – Finally, moving down to the #39 spot, Ironhide Game Studios’ new game Kingdom Rush adds a much-needed shot of non-EA blood to the iPad charts. A tower defense title, the game features 8 tower upgrades, 18 towner abilities, 30 different enemies and more than 50 achievements for players to earn. The game was released on December 21st but is already promising an early 2012 update that will add Game Center support and a new stage. Kingdom Rush is $2.99.