Top 52 Publishers of 2016

Analytics tool provider App Annie recently released their annual rankings, and unlike most of the years prior, there’s a bit of a new look to this edition of the top chart.

“Typically the top 10 undergoes very little change year over year. However, this year proved to be an exception, with three new entrants to the top 10. Additionally, we saw some shifts in the ranks, with Tencent climbing to the top spot (up from #6 in 2015) and NetEase jumping from #9 to #3. Most notably, Niantic made its first-ever appearance on the charts, due to the record-shattering success of Pokémon GO.” – App Annie

Making the App Annie chart is pretty much the highest trophy for any one publisher to achieve fiscally, and even the bottom of the list is nothing to turn your nose up to. It’s great to see so many new faces make 2016’s list, and it’s a trend we hope continues in 2017.

What do you think about App Annie’s list? Are you on there? Speak up on Twitter, and let’s have a chat! Write us at @AdrianCrook

– Wyatt Fossett | @W_Fossett

Compulsion Loop
Compulsion Loop #67: App Annie’s Top 52 Mobile Publishers of 2016 banner

Built for Speed

Meizi Games

Why Play? A Nostalgia trip for me–the kid who used to play 4×4 OFF ROAD at arcades with my brother– Built for Speed does everything right in both it’s flawless aesthetic, and it’s engaging progression systems. Played in the vein of “Rogue-like … but with cars”, BfS is a true testament to the importance of tight, yet boiled down controls. Randomly generated “dungeons” (or race tracks) make up circuits that you can complete before racing a boss, all while gaining more coin to purchase more cars, or upgrade that one ride you’ve really fallen in love with. Currently only available on Android, it’s a must play and may even land atop my Q1 standings.

– Wyatt Fossett | @W_Fossett

Google Play
Compulsion Loop #67: App Annie’s Top 52 Mobile Publishers of 2016 banner

Justice League Action Run

Warner Brothers International Enterprises

Why Play? Justice League is a solid little DC branded runner. Note, not an “endless” runner. Though, the various gameplay modes generally have a goal or end point set with the various members of the team you select acting as a “lives” mechanic. Overall it’s well put together with pre-run boosts, lots of character and skin unlocks as well as other DC themed goodies like comics and trivia. Really a solid use of the IP in the core game as well as the rest of the offerings outside that core loop.

– Chris Cervantes  | @SaveVsFail

Google Play App Store
Compulsion Loop #67: App Annie’s Top 52 Mobile Publishers of 2016 banner

Alliance: Heroes of the Spire

Rumble Entertainment Inc.

Why Play? First to state the obvious – this is a Summoners War clone. But don’t take that as criticism, Summoners War got a LOT of things right. Alliance: Heroes takes the best of SW and applies a steampunk/airship theme. While the character models don’t quite stand up to SW, Alliance is otherwise quite impressive and introduces some solid new mechanics. Standouts include a character equipment system that (refreshingly) deviates from the Heroes Charge ‘set collection’ model, some new appointment-based exploration mechanics, an elegant Live Events system. Fair warning: this game may be addictive!

– Matt Emery | @AdrianCrook

Google Play App Store
Compulsion Loop #67: App Annie’s Top 52 Mobile Publishers of 2016 banner

Dice with Ellen


Why Play? As hard as it is to believe, Scopely’s Dice with Buddies game is consistently top-grossing. Their latest addition to the franchise includes talk show host Ellen, who guides you through the classical game, in tournaments and other player-vs-player modes.​

– Peter Knudson | @AdrianCrook

Google Play App Store
Compulsion Loop

CompulsionLoop is AC+A’s ( weekly pursuit of providing a Featured List for those in the games industry. A look at the latest must-play apps, along with short, useful takeaways from our team of game design and product experts. If you have a game that you think your industry colleagues should try, we’d love to hear about it at Don’t forget to tell us why industry insiders should be compelled to try out the game (see what we did there?).

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Thank you for reading and we look forward to helping you discover more games that you can glean learnings from. Feel free to reply to this email or contact — we’re always happy to hear from you.

Have a great week!

- Adrian Crook