While some mobile games are huge hits in some markets, sometimes they hit a roadblock when they are released in other countries. Today is one such example, as Japan-based publisher Xflag has revealed it will be shutting down the English language version of its highly successful free-to-play mobile game Monster Strike on August 1.
Monster Strike first launched in Japan in 2013. If you have never played it, the best way to describe the game is that it offers a mix of Pokémon’s creature collecting combined with throwing them at enemies, similar to Angry Birds. This simple gameplay mechanic is apparently highly addictive in Japan and it brought in over 14 million downloads in just its first year. Its players also pay a ton of money, via in-game purchases, to feed that addiction.
In 2016, one report from SuperData Research claimed that Monster Strike generated revenues of $1.3 billion in 2016.
In 2016, one report from SuperData Research showed how much money is spent on Monster Strike. It claimed that it generated revenues of $1.3 billion in 2016. That made it the single biggest grossing mobile game of the year worldwide, surpassing Supercell’s Clash of Clans at $1.2 billion, and its spinoff Clash Royale at $1.1 billion.
The English version of Monster Strike launched in the fall of 2014, but apparently it never achieved the kind of player support that it had in Japan. Today, a post on the game’s English site announced the August 1 shutdown date. The message simply said that it “wasn’t the success that [the publisher] thought it would be” but did not offer any more specifics. According to the game’s Google Play Store listing, the English version of Monster Strike on Android had between 500,000 to 1 million installs.
While this version of the game has just a few more months before it shuts down, Xflag says that English language Monster Strike players will have a ton of in-game events to check out ahead of its closing. On July 2, the game’s download listings will be removed from the Google Play Store and the iOS App Store. All in-game purchases will be disabled at that time as well. Unfortunately, if you have purchased in-game content for Monster Strike before today’s announcement, you will not be able to get any refunds.
It’s very odd that such a game did not reach a wide audience in the US, especially with the huge popularity of games like Pokémon Go and the Angry Birds franchise in this country. Why do you think Monster Strike did not become more popular? Let us know what you think in the comments!