NINTENDO’S Pokémon Go is likely to go down in history as one of the most successful in mobile game history. But Sony apparently has quietly released a popular game called Fate/Grand Order with traction that could rival that of Pokémon Go.
According to Bloomberg, the game is based on anime TV show Fate where its time-traveling characters team up with historical figures such as Julius Caesar and Leonardo da Vinci to save the world from impending doom. The game uses a ‘freemium’ model where players can make in-app purchases to “add characters and speed up gameplay”.
Sony’s new game has racked up tremendous traction since it debuted in July 2015, having been downloaded seven million times to date. According to App Annie, it has also made more money than Pokémon Go, 104 out of 133 days on Android and 51 out of 133 days on iOS devices, within the same time period.
A Tokyo-based analyst with Macquarie Group also noted that while the “amount of money people are spending [is] up there above Pokemon Go… the intensity and engagement level for Fate/Grand Order is a lot higher”.
According to Bloomberg’s Rosalind Chin, Fate/Grand Order is only available in Japan and China, compared with Pokémon Go which is now released across the globe. The fact that Sony’s game is only available in two markets, albeit large ones, means that it’s doing “extremely well.” She thinks the game’s success has to do with its business model, where players have to pay in order to team up with new historical figures and make speedier progress in the game.
“Sony is putting its weight behind gaming in order to offset the struggle that it’s had in other areas, such as selling phones or televisions, so gaming is one of the ways forward for Sony,” said Chin and notes that Sony Music’s operating profit has risen by 23 percent thanks to the game.
The challenge for Fate/Grand Order to reach continued success as it gains users, according to Chin, is that its writers will have to continue creating new narratives and stories to keep going.