Macth Factory
Source: Naavik

Zynga-owned Toon Blast and Toy Blast maker Peak Games launched Match Factory worldwide in November 2023. It’s a fast-follow of Triple Match 3D in which players race against time to match three items from a pile of 3D objects and clear all the level objectives (gameplay video). 

Match Factory is a rare case of a big studio successfully fast-following into a new, growing subgenre with a unique go-to market strategy. The game was in soft launch on Android and iOS in the U.K. and Turkey for three months before exclusively launching globally only on the App Store.

So let's look at the early performance of Match Factory, and dig deeper into Zynga/Peak’s exclusivity bet.

The Connect Tiles Subgenre

2023 Connect Tiles Top Grossing
source:, Naavik

The connect tiles subgenre of puzzle games is led by Triple Match 3D with $138M in store revenue last year, the only game in the subgenre making over $100M in 2023.

Zen Match by Moon Active and newcomer Tile Busters by Spyke Games came in second and third by revenue with about $25M each. Fast forward to January 2024, and now Match Factory has taken second place with a monthly revenue of $6.7M, lagging Triple Match 3D‘s $11.1M, but topping Tile Busters’ $3.9M.

Source:, Naavik

If we take a look at the launches of these top two games, Match Factory is clearly coming out of the gate stronger. By D100:

  • Match Factory has significantly higher total downloads: 3M (versus 0.5M for Triple Match 3D).
  • Match Factory has higher total revenue: $13.8M (versus $1.4M for Triple Match 3D).
  • Match Factory has the best D100 RPD: $4.55 (versus $3.07 for Triple Match 3D).

By estimates, the percentage of paid downloads for the games is comparable, with Triple Match 3D’s 48% close to Match Factory’s 54%.

As a hybrid-casual game, advertising revenue accounts for roughly half of Triple Match 3D’s total revenue, but even generously doubling D100 revenue to $2.8M, it lags way behind Match Factory’s $13.8M. Tile Busters, though a slightly more polished experience, also falls into the hybrid-casual category, selling ad-removal IAPs. Match Factory on the other hand is a more polished, casual, ad-free puzzle game in a similar vein to Dream Games’ Royal Match.

Why is Match Factory performing better than these other games — at least at the start? In short, Match Factory provides a more polished, genre-leading core gameplay experience without intrusive ads, and being exclusive to the App Store focuses on its best performing audience.

Triple Match 3D vs Match Factory
Source: Naavik

Match Factory has over 5K colorful, fast-paced levels with top-notch assets and animations brought to life with a market leading 3D physics engine. Gone are the grays and (in contrast) dull levels and core gameplay animations of Triple Match 3D (gameplay video), which are constantly interrupted by intrusive ads. Both games operate with a relatively high price point — users can pay $2 when “out of moves” to continue — but Match Factory features a core gameplay experience matching the attention to detail of newer hit puzzle games like Royal Match.

As a result, Match Factory has higher retention rates. For instance, when looking at U.S. iOS players, Match Factory’s D1 and D3 retention rates of 45% and 32%, respectively, easily top Triple Match 3D’s comparable figures, 27% and 19%. The U.S. is the primary market for both games, but due to Match Factory’s iOS exclusivity skewing to a more Western audience, the U.S. accounts for 82% of its store revenue versus Triple Match 3D’s 66%.

Zynga at Its Peak

source:, Naavik

As we have covered previously, Peak experienced a rough period recently, with the tap-to-blast genre in decline for the past three years. Even though Zynga saw rising IAP revenue growth over the past couple of years (according to, Peak shrunk in its contribution — especially as its last tap-to-blast game, Star Blast, struggled during its soft launch. So it’s notable now that Peak is rebounding. Toon Blast’s IAP revenue rose 61% year-over-year for January to $26.7M, and Match Factory’s success now represents 17% (and growing) of Peak’s monthly IAP revenue.

F2P mobile game revenue today is a product of UA spend (downloads) and LTV (product performance). For a successful game, revenue growth comes from increasing UA spend, which in turn increases "quality" installs, increasing LTV (ARPU and lifetime) which is a signal to scale UA — all leading to revenue growth.

Though Google Play accounted for 37% of puzzle game revenue in 2023, it also accounted for 75% of puzzle game downloads. Which leaves the App Store with 25% downloads and 63% store revenue. For puzzle games in 2023, each App Store download brought in, on average, 440% more revenue than its Google Play counterpart.

Choosing to go global exclusively on the App Store supercharges the game revenue equation above and helps Peak fast follow into a new subgenre, successfully scaling Match Factory revenue beyond current genre leader Triple Match 3D. And it has done so as fast as possible with as few risks as possible.

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In Other News

Funding & Acquisitions:

Business & Product


Content Worth Consuming

Source: IGN

I've Never Seen It This Bad:' Game Developers Explain the Huge Layoffs Hitting Riot, Epic, and More(IGN):In August of last year, Ascendant Studios developer Aaron (name changed for anonymity) was ready to take a well-deserved victory lap. He had crunched hard with many of his colleagues in the final sprint to complete Ascendant’s debut game, Immortals of Aveum, but the team had finally done it. He attended a launch party in the Bay Area where he celebrated with his colleagues, some of whom he said had to pay partially out of pocket to make the trip. But while the event was supposed to be jubilant, there was an uneasy atmosphere: it seemed like Immortals of Aveum wasn’t performing especially well. At the party, developers kept asking leadership how the game was doing, only to be met with non-committal answers.

Comfortable Feeling Uncomfortable(Ilkka Paananen, Supercell): How would people react? Would they feel anger, sadness, fear…or, would they get fired up and inspired? And what would they think of the very big changes I was about to announce? Would they think that our culture, that we all are so proud of, was about to change for the worse? But I guess more than anything, I really felt for our people. I was about to challenge them, and ask a lot from them.

Rendered VC and Griffin Gaming Partners Release 2023 Game Development Report (Rendered VC): “Our 2023 Game Development Report explores the technical concepts behind recently observed business and market phenomena. This research and accompanying data is intended to highlight key issues for studio teams, industry analysts, and investors in the hopes of driving innovation and progress.”

A Changing of the Guard (Ep. 11) (Gamecraft): “Mitch and Blake expand on last season's discussion of platform-based publishers by introducing a new kind of company: the game-enabling software platform. The five companies they discuss (Epic, Unity, AppLovin, Discord, and Roblox) are all pursuing customer aggregation strategies similar to the platform-based publishers, but -- with the exception of Epic, which has attributes of both a publisher and software platform -- they are doing so with enabling technologies (game engines, advertising tech, and communications software) rather than by producing content.”

The Tremendous Yet Troubled State of Gaming in 2024 (Matthew Ball): “To players and outside observers, 2023 looks like one of the 70-year-old gaming industry’s greatest-ever years. Chief among its achievements was its slate of new software releases. PC and console players received Alan Wake 2, Armored Core VI, Baldur’s Gate 3, Diablo IV, Final Fantasy XVI, The Finals, Hi-Fi Rush, Hogwarts Legacy, Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, Starfield, Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, Super Mario Bros. Wonder, and The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, alongside the Cyberpunk 2077 2.0 re-release (plus Phantom Liberty DLC), Fortnite OG, Metroid Prime Remastered, and the Resident Evil 4 remake, with Roblox finally launching on PlayStation. On mobile, Monopoly Go! and Honkai: Star Rail debuted, while the Indian ban on PUBG Mobile (previously the most popular AAA game in history) was lifted. It’s difficult to argue any other year has seen a greater slate (yes, even compared to 1998 and 2007). AW2 was my personal favorite.”

2023: Striving for Elevation (InvestGame): “Looking at 2024, we see a rebound in fundraising activity, with January alone contributing $1.7B value (incl. Disney’s $1.5B investment in Epic Games and Build a Rocket Boy’s $110m round), suggesting that the worst may be behind us.”

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