Emerging Top Grossing iOS Apps: Grand Theft Auto 3, Tiny Village and Social Girl

This week’s top grossing charts showed quite a bit of changeover this week, with many champions from last week slipping off the charts entirely. Paid apps continued to lead on the iPhone with Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto 3 claiming the top spot, but other than that, free-to-play reigned, with new titles from Crowdstar, Zynga, Sega, TinyCo and Glu Mobile all performing well after their releases.

This Week’s Top Grossing iPhone Apps

Grand Theft Auto 3 – Yesterday’s top paid app is also this week’s top grossing app as well, displacing last week’s champion, Infinity Blade II. The only paid app to crack our iPhone charts this week, Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto 3 is $4.99 and does not require in-app purchases. One of the most influential games of all time, the wide-open sandbox world of Liberty City went on to define modern RPGs and game mechanics.

[Update] Dream Zoo – Zynga’s Dream Zoo continues to perform strongly, rising two spots this week to the #2 position on the top grossing charts. The game is another entry in the animal care/zoo sim games stable but introduces some new elements like free-roaming animals to keep the gameplay fresh. Zynga updated the game on December 15th with minor bug fixes.

Social Girl – Top Girl sequel Social Girl is this week’s #8 top grossing app and its developer Crowdstar told us the app has crossed about 1 million downloads in a week. Released on December 13th by Crowdstar, the game is like Top Girl, but adds more of everything. The game challenges players to go on the hottest dates, get into the coolest cliques and shop for the trendiest clothes. Players can rack up bonuses from discovering new ways to combine clothes, guessing what their boyfriends are thinking and discovering the best gossip. The game is free-to-play and monetizes through in-app purchases.

-KingdomConquest- – Sega’s free-to-play game Kingdom Conquest makes an appearance in the #24 position after being named the highest grossing iPhone app in Japan’s App Store Rewind feature. The game is an MMO that blends first person dungeon crawling with real-time strategy mechanics and was last updated on December 20th.

ForestVille – Zynga’s brand-new game ForestVille makes its debut on the top grossing charts this week, just squeaking into our roundup in the #50 position. Similar to CityVille Hometown, the game is a city building game with an animal and woodlands theme/ Players can connect with their Facebook friends or other ForestVille players to trade gifts. The game is free-to-play and monetizes through in-app transactions.

This Week’s Top Grossing iPad Apps

[Update] Battle Nations – Independent Seattle-based developer Z2Live maintains its hold #1 spot on the iPad top grossing charts this week with Battle Nations. An action and strategy title, the game has more than 130 single player missions and a variety of online multiplayer options including direct PVP and group based invasion battles. The game was updated on December 12th with higher level shops, and gameplay improvements. Battle Nations is free-to-play and monetizes through in-app purchases.

[Update] The Daily – News Corp’s The Daily is the #17 top grossing iPad app this week. One of the highest grossing iPad apps of the year, the Daily drew headlines when it debuted for being the world’s first iPad-only newspaper, and has rarely left the top grossing iPad charts since. The Daily charges $0.99 for one week of content and $39.99 for a year’s subscription.

Tiny Village – TinyCo’s Tiny Village rises seven spots to the #36 position on the iPad top grossing charts. Developed with TinyCo’s new C++ based Griffin Engine, the game is a city building game with a prehistoric theme. Players can trade resources with other Tiny Village players through the game’s Market. The game is free-to-play, but players can purchase Crystals, the game’s premium currency to speed up production, buy special buildings and premium decorations.

Master Your DSLR Camera – Just in time for post-Christmas camera sales (and Boxing Day in Canada), Open Air Publishing has released an interactive photography textbook for the iPad called Master Your DSLR Camera: A Better Way to Learn Digital Photography. Currently the #47 top grossing iPad app, the $9.99 guide teaches amateur photographers how to manage complicated DSLR variables like ISO, shutter speed and focal length. The app was released on December 16th.

Frontline Commando – Glu Mobile’s new game, Frontline Commando makes its debut in the #49 spot on the iPad top grossing charts. In the game, players take on the role of the sole surviving commando from a botched attack on an evil dictator, and must fight their way out from the front lines. Glu Mobile released Frontline Commando on December 14th and promoted it with a FreeAppADay.com feature. The free-to-play game is a third person shooter with Game Center support.