Forget about Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA)’s popular Scramble With Friends app, there’s a new game in town frustrating consumers and it’s very similar. Meet Ruzzle.
This app, which was created by Mag Interactive in 2012, has emerged as the top of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s U.S. free apps for download on iPhone. Just nine months old, the Boggle-style game is a modern take for the mobile audience. It has been compared to Zynga’s “Scramble With Friends,” which had been introduced in the middle of last year, reported the Wall Street Journal.
What’s interesting about Ruzzle is; it has been out longer than “Scramble With Friends” but has only recently jumped to the top of the app list. Stockholm-based Mag Interactive founder, Roger Skagerwall, recently said to Upstart Business about the rise, “We did nothing. It’s a mystery.”
This week alone, the app has added 500,000 users after sitting in the third spot last week.
It now has more than 10 million players, across 128 countries, and is available in nine languages. Also intriguing with its rise, is the company hasn’t spent any money on international marketing.
So where did its sudden increasing allure come from? There are few schools of thought.
One answer may be that game players that use Apple’s App Store and are iPhone users are just fickle, looking for the next best thing suggested the Wall Street Journal.
At closer look at these games show they don’t necessarily reinvent the wheel; they aren’t really 100% original. For Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA), which has been the leader in different categories, it has found great success with its “Words With Friends”, which is really a take on Scrabble.
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But with Ruzzle, it doesn’t have the “power ups” that “Scramble With Friends” has to offer, but maybe that is part of its appeal. It also doesn’t have in-app purchases, but it does have an upgrade option sans advertisements.
Another example of similar apps is Zynga’s “The Ville.” Take a look and you may see some familiarity to “The Sims Social,” a Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) game. In August, Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA) sued Zynga over their likenesses.
Let’s get back to Ruzzle; there could be a second reason for its rising appeal: good old-fashioned word of mouth.
According to Skagerwall, by utilizing Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) analytics, the company found the game’s increased appeal may have come from Collins, Louisiana–a town near New Orleans–that began the doubling of this app’s download numbers on December 8.
He said via Upstart, “We just speculate that it was a bunch of college kids sharing it with their friends.”