I wrote a bit about Fallout Shelter’s success in my June NPD article. Today, mobile industry tracking firm App Annie gives us another look at how successful Bethesda’s mobile gaming title is.

Bethesda made a big splash during their E3 conference. They brought their heavy hitters including Doom, Fallout 4, Dishonored 2 and more. But, it would be a Fallout themed mobile game that would eventually be the biggest surprise.

Fallout Shelter fuses promotion for Fallout 4 with a decent mobile gaming experience. According to App Annie, Fallout Shelter was the #4 most downloaded iOS game in June. The rest of the top 10 is dominated by mobile gaming companies.

top ios games june

Image credit: App Annie

“Rather than being a mere promotion for Fallout 4, Fallout Shelter seems to be a genuine effort on Bethesda’s part to craft an engaging mobile experience,” says App Annie.

How did Bethesda succeed with Fallout Shelter? There are a couple of reasons.

1) We need our Fallout fix.

Fallout: New Vegas released on October 19, 2010. It’s been nearly five years since gamers have seen a new Fallout game. Pretty much everyone loved the footage of Fallout 4. And when Bethesda announced Fallout Shelter, we just wanted to play anything Fallout related.

2) Bethesda attracts traditionally non-mobile gamers.

Fallout Shelter managed to sidestep some of the mobile gaming features hardcore gamers hate most. Bethesda made it clear it was not locking gameplay behind timers or paywalls. There are microtransactions, but they are completely optional.

You might think this would hurt Fallout Shelter’s earning potential. But, it didn’t. Fallout Shelter earned $5.1 million in its first two weeks on the Apple App Store.

Bethesda isn’t stopping with Fallout Shelter. Their venture into mobile gaming will continue with The Elder Scrolls: Legends.

Legends is a free-to-play strategy card game coming to iPad and PC later this year. Bethesda wants to duplicate the success Blizzard has seen with Hearthstone. Can they? The Elder Scrolls franchise has the pull. We will have to wait and see if Bethesda can execute later this year.


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