'The Force Awakens' Release Sends Star Wars App Revenue Into Hyperdrive

Sensor Tower data shows Star Wars apps and games saw huge week-over-week increases in revenue and downloads upon release of the saga's seventh installment.

Star Wars Apps Hero Image

Have you felt it? There's been an awakening… in downloads and revenue for mobile apps based on the Star Wars saga. With "The Force Awakens" smashing box office records, Sensor Tower wanted to determine if its runaway success has had any effect on apps tied to the lightsaber-hot intellectual property. What we found had us more surprised than parts of the movie we promise not to spoil in this post.

About Our Data

Utilizing our Store Intelligence platform, we pulled worldwide download and revenue estimates for 22 licensed Star Wars apps and games on Apple's App Store, looking at opening day for "The Force Awakens"—Friday, December 18—and the day after, compared and the previous two Fridays and Saturdays: December 11 and 12, and December 4 and 5.

Release Date Compared to Previous Fridays

For the two Fridays leading up to the film's release, the 22 apps we examined generated an average combined revenue of $222,000. On December 18, they brought in a combined revenue of $335,000. In the chart below, you can see opening day for "The Force Awakens" compared to the preceding Fridays we looked at:

Star Wars Apps Revenue & Downloads - December 18

The increase in revenue visualized above translated into a 51 percent jump when compared to the average of the previous days studied. Of the apps we looked at, the top three in terms of revenue on December 18 were Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes ($186,000), Star Wars: Force Collection ($56,000), and Star Wars: Commander - Worlds in Conflict ($43,000).

In terms of worldwide downloads, they were also up over the average for the two preceding Fridays we looked at, totaling 381,000 for a 102 percent increase over the average of the two preceding Fridays. The top three apps by downloads on the film's release date were Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes (164,000), LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga (41,000), and Star Wars: Commander - Worlds in Conflict (29,000).

The Day After The Force Awoke

While the week-over-week increases in revenue and downloads seen on December 18 were impressive, they couldn't compare to what happened the day after the film's premiere—December 19—when millions had returned from their journey to a galaxy far, far away.

Combined revenue for the 22 apps we looked at was $334,000 on December 19—this was up 74 percent compared to the $192,000 average for December 5 and 12. The day after "The Force Awakens" premiered, combined downloads for the apps totaled 566,000—up 193 percent over the 193,000 average of the two preceding Saturdays.

The chart below shows how Saturday, December 5, 12, and 19 looked compared side-by-side:

Star Wars Apps Revenue & Downloads - December 19

An Unprecedented Marketing Force

There's no doubting that the estimated $350 million marketing budget for "The Force Awakens" has played a role in escalating buzz around all things Star Wars, but that's not to say many of the publishers seeing their app revenue and downloads soar are simply riding Disney and Lucasfilm's advertising coattails.

In fact, our Ad Intelligence platform reveals increased advertising pushes from the three most prominent Star Wars mobile games, Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes, Star Wars: Commander - Galaxy in Conflict, and Star Wars: Uprising. The first two titles were in the top 10 advertisers on Facebook for the week of December 14 through 20, and all three were in the top 25 on the Facebook ad network during that week.

It should be interesting to see how long this momentum continues, but for now it's clear that the Force is definitely with these apps in a powerful way.

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Randy Nelson

Written by: Randy Nelson, Head of Mobile Insights

Date: December 2015