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Charts show that Apple's official game of the year awards make old games sell like new

by Mike Rougeau

January 28 2014

Unsurprisingly, downloads spike when Apple officially recognizes great games.

Apple gave top honors to three games back in December, making Badland, XCOM Enemy Unknown, and Impossible Road its game of the year and two runners up, respectively, for 2013.

Inspired by a similar feature relating to the top-grossing ranks of Apple's favorite iPhone games on Pocket Gamer, I decided to look up the download ranking data for these three titles and see how Apple's recognition of them affected sales.

These charts look at the games' iPad download rankings in 2013 across ten countries: Australia, Canada, China, France, the U.S., the U.K., Germany, Sweden, Russia, and South Korea.

As you can see, Apple's recommendations caused downloads to spike, launching all three apps from wherever they were prior to the awards back into the top 100 downloaded games.

These stats differ for all three apps, but Badland had the most consistent success in 2013:

XCOM peaked early and then steadily declined, excepting later peaks, including the one caused by Apple's award:

And Impossible Road had the least consistent performance throughout the year and in different countries, scoring high in some and barely registering in others. But it too peaked when Apple recognized it as a runner-up for GOTY around December and into January:

These show that Apple's game of the year recommendations certainly do have an effect on sales, although it may not be a monumental shift. These awards at least make iPad games sell like new again, even months after their initial releases.

What were your games of the year in 2013?

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