Casual games are popular among mobile phone users, and the added social dimension helps in popularizing mobile game apps. Line’s two top games, for instance — Line Pop and Line Bubble — have reportedly reached 30 million downloads. Line Pop reached 20 million in 58 days, while Line Bubble — which plays like Bust-a-Move — reached 10 million in 28 days.
The Next Web notes that Line’s business model is very appropriate for its regional audience, in which the concept of “stickers” is very popular. As such, Line rewards users who download apps with freebies like stickers, which can be used to exchange with fellow Line users in chat messages.
Going beyond stickers, though, Line has reportedly sold $1 million in virtual goods just 12 days within the launch of Line Pop (and yes, stickers included). As with other LINE games, these two applications are separate downloads from the main LINE application itself, although users connect with each other through LINE’s Channel feature. This is in contrast to other cross-platform apps like Kakao Talk, which have dedicated gaming centers.
Apart from Line Pop and Line Bubble, LINE says more than 70 million Channel apps have been downloaded. Of course, one of LINE’s bigger competitors today would be Facebook, whose standalone Messenger app recently got a VoIP upgrade. LINE also competes with Tencent’s WeChat, which has over 300 million users. Regional IM startups are competing on functionality, though, and LINE’s gaming channel can be one means of keeping its users more engaged and interested.
LINE is available on multiple platforms, including iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone, Windows and OS X.