Emerging Top-Grossing iOS Apps: Older Titles Get a Boost From New Quests, Social Features

The top grossing iOS charts have been almost completely inactive this week in terms of new rising titles. Most of the titles highlighted today, especially on iPhone, are older apps that have continued to do well due to recent updates. In fact, only two new apps appeared today, with both coming from the iPad.  Moreover, apps continue to churn below #40 and change frequently.

New Titles Within Top Grossing iPhone Apps List

Smurfs’ Village (Update & Film Premiere) — Beeline Interactive is a mobile and social games developer and publisher out of L.A. and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Capcom. Its title Smurfs’ Village has always done well with its social and management-based game play.

But now the game has shot up to #1 on both the iPhone and iPad in the past few days. The game recently received a new update, adding new levels and decorations. The recent Smurfs film release also gave it a boost. In terms of monetization, Smurfs’ Village is free-to-play but offers in-app purchases for virtual currency.

Tap Pet Hotel & Tap Zoo Updates — Coming in at #4 and #8 respectively are the two popular Pocket Gems games of Tap Pet Hotel and Tap Zoo (they are ranked at #4 and #9 on iPad). Both are similarly designed mobile-social games in which players build and manage their own virtual spaces. Typically well-performing games — together they have attracted more than 40 million downloads. The two continue to do well due to July 29th updates. Tap Pet Hotel gained new features including a new quest for “Very Important Pets,” while Tap Zoo added new daily bonuses, animals, and general improvements.

Zombie Farm (Social Update) — Zombie Farm is another older, and popular app that also received a significant update. Currently ranked at #12, the game, which allows users to build a farm and grow their own army of zombies, is now social. Updated July 28th, Zombie Farm lets users connect and play with their friends via Facebook, email or username. Beyond visiting one another’s farms, players can now send gifts, receive daily rewards, and even engage in a game of “zombie tag” with their friends’ zombies. Monetizing through in-app purchases, Zombie Farm is developed by California-based studio, The Playforge, told us they have more than 20 million players for Zombie Farm.

New Titles Within Top Grossing iPad Apps List

Zinio Magazine Newsstand & Reader — Recently updated July 29th with general crash fixes, Zinio Magazine Newsstand & Reader has risen up the top grossing iPad apps list up to #3. Unlike other digital magazines to rise up the top grossing lists, Zinio is not a singular magazine, but rather a compilation of titles such as National Geographic, Esquire, Maxim, and Rolling Stone. As such, the title monetizes through the in-app purchasing of digital issues of said magazines as well as annual subscriptions. The title is credited to Zinio LLC, a San Francisco-based newsstand and bookstore that distributes digital products and services through its Zinio Unity reading platform.

Mahjong Towers Touch HD — Casual and mobile games developer and publisher Big Fish Games is responsible for today’s #19 application, Mahjong Towers Touch HD. Free-to-download, the game monetizes through an in-app unlock of the full version for $2.99 (currently 70 percent off). As for the game itself, it’s the sequel to Mahjong Towers Eternity and consists of the same standard Mahjong play, but hosts several new puzzles, artwork, and sounds. Mahjong Towers Touch HD was released July 28th.

Ultimate Sharks — In at #22 is the digital book from yesterday’s top paid iPad apps list, Ultimate Sharks. Its rise is likely due to non-fiction media company Discovery Communications’ start of Shark Week on the Discovery Channel. Released July 27th, this digital shark book is a compilation of interactive media such as interactive sharks, attack stories, general information, and high quality videos narrated by Mike Rowe.

Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars HD — Another top paid app from yesterday just squeezes into the top 50 grossing iPad lists in the form of Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars HD at #55. Though the game costs $9.99, the growth is due to a sale that reduced the cost to $2.99. The game works similarly to past Grand Theft Auto games with its sandbox style of play within the ever familiar setting of Liberty City. Now, players follow the story of Huang Lee, a papered individual who seeks revenge after a seemingly simple job goes sour. The game’s developer is veteran core games developer and publisher, Rockstar Games. Founded in 1998, New York-based Rockstar Games is best known for its Grand Theft Auto series, Red Dead Redemption, and L.A. Noire. Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars HD was last updated November 16th of last year.

DC Comics — In at #57 is another digital book, DC Comics. Free-to-download, users can access and purchase, in-app, weekly comic book offerings as well as access the classic collection. Additionally, the app touts the ability for players to read their digital comic collection from any location, be it the iPad, iPhone, or desktop computer. As for the developer, DC Comics themselves, this well-known comic book publisher is one of the largest in the U.S. and has been around since 1934 (originally founded as National Allied Publications).