Fallout Shelter is out-grossing Candy Crush Saga on the App Store

Bethesda's mobile title is the third top-grossing iOS game in the UK and the US

Fallout Shelter is one of the three top-grossing games on the App Store in the US and the UK, just a few days after its surprise launch at Bethesda's E3 press conference.

According to App Annie's data, Fallout Shelter has displaced Candy Crush Saga as the third top-grossing game on both the US and the UK App Stores. Bethesda's title is also the fourth top-grossing game in Canada, as well as making the top five or ten in numerous countries across Europe. Fallout Shelter is the most downloaded iOS game in both the US and the UK.

You have to go back to December 2012 to find the last point at which King's mega-hit wasn't one of the UK's top three grossing iOS games. In the US, you have to go back to January 2013. Fallout Shelter is also the first new game to break the top three in either country since December 2014, and that was KIng's follow-up, Candy Crush Soda Saga.

While it's impossible to know exactly how much money Fallout Shelter is making in third place, we do know that Candy Crush Saga was clearing $2 million a day in revenue during Q1 2015. That's across several platforms, of course, and right now Fallout Shelter is only available on iOS, though Bethesda has promised an Android version within the next few months,

Another remarkable aspect to Fallout Shelter's success is that Bethesda seemed to view it as a promotional tool rather than a revenue stream. There was no soft launch and no drawn out beta tests. Todd Howard simply took to the E3 stage, told the world that the game existed, and told them they could download it that very day.

The only monetised items in Fallout Shelter are lunchboxes filled with random loot, which are also awarded to the player for completing certain tasks or objectives. With that in mind, it's unlikely to stay in the top three for long, because the games directly above and below it are continually optimised by large teams of people improve monetisation and retention.

"This game is going to be free, but don't worry, there are no paywall timers... You build something, it's instantly built," Howard said. "The entire goal of this game was to do something that we'd really want to play on our phones. Something that made us smile and had more depth than other things we were seeing."

Fallout Shelter's abrupt entry into the App Store's top-grossers is a reminder of just how static the upper reaches of the App Store chart have become. However, it's also a reminder of the feverish anticipation surrounding Fallout 4, which is likely to match the amazing commercial performance of Skyrim, the last core release in Bethesda's other key IP, The Elder Scrolls.

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Latest comments (10)

Darren Adams Managing Director, ChaosTrend3 years ago
I just can't believe how closely the layout of the game looks to XCOM, but its good that something other than Crusty Crunch is making waves on the Appstore.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Darren Adams on 18th June 2015 10:27am

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Alex Rigby Creative Director, Playdemic Ltd3 years ago
Lunchboxes that contain variable reward cards, that may or may not contain 'Caps' (the premium currency in the game), and also may or may not contain rare or useful items.

Sound like gacha to anyone else?
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John Bye Lead Designer, Freejam3 years ago
"Fallout Shelter is also the first new game to break the top three in either country since December 2014, and that was King's follow-up, Candy Crush Soda Saga."
What a depressing statistic.
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Show all comments (10)
Igor Galochkin Game Programmer 3 years ago
After a short moment of happiness (as I'm a Fallout fan) I was greeted by a popup that the game needs iOS 7 to run. I only have iPhone 3GS and iPad 1. Will have to wait for the Android version I guess.
Gee, why is the game even showing for me on AppStore if my device can't run it!
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Oscar Escamilla Perez Game Designer 3 years ago
I've been enjoying the game since launch, and it has very interesting design choices. Due to the lovely empathy touches the game has (conversations between vault dwellers, exploration logs, the variety of gear, naming the children, etc), you keep investing time on the game, just to check if your vault is running ok and everybody is happy, healthy and well equipped. The Fallout visuals and humour helps a lot too. Also, everything the player does in the game has great FX and sound feedback.

What I like in terms of F2P design is that the game has no paywalls, and the only purchasable items are not particularly expensive compared to other games (the most expensive one is 19 for 40 lunchboxes). Lunchboxes are also given as a free prize for completing some misions, so you enter in the mechanic of opening lunch boxes, which is exactly as thrilling as in Heartstone.

And yes, it is pure Gacha. To hook players, the game takes care of giving you some great cards (Elite vault dwellers and gear) when opening your first lunchboxes. I am no suspect of spending on F2P games, but I already forked 12 on the game. Maybe I'll spend a bit more to strenghten my elite squad of explorers

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Oscar Escamilla Perez on 19th June 2015 10:06am

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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 3 years ago
I do have to wonder if Bethsoft will bring this to other devices like the Vita or even packe it up as a download with all the content for a small premium. It seems to be doing better than expected (so far) and spreading it around seems like a cool idea.

Also, is it REALLY "gacha" if you WANT to buy in to more stuff? It's not like the game is forcing a pay wall down your throat (ow!). I'd also say there's a big difference between a truly enjoyable game that gently gets you to open your wallet and one where you're reminded that you're really not having "fun" unless you continue to pay to advance things in the way the game wants you to.
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Alfonso Sexto Lead Tester, Ubisoft Germany3 years ago
I'm going to save this article for the next time that somebody comes and tells me that "reputation is not a selling factor"
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Craig Page El Presidente, Awesome Enterprises3 years ago
Awww no Android version? I have every Fallout game no matter how bad, including Fallout Tactics and the fallout PS2 game.
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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 3 years ago
@Craig: Aw, Brotherhood of Steel isn't too terrible. I like isometric dungeon crawlers quite a lot though, so I may be biased. :D
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Alfonso Sexto Lead Tester, Ubisoft Germany3 years ago
@Craig: Android version comes in a few months, Bethesda said. It's the usual "first on Apple" thingy all over again.
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