Measuring and analyzing third-party mobile game app stores in China

Tingting Wang, Di Wu, Jiaming Zhang, Min Chen, Yipeng Zhou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


In the era of mobile Internet, mobile game apps (i.e., applications) enable users to play games on mobile devices anywhere at any time. Such a change has brought a dramatic revolution to the traditional gaming industry. In this paper, we aim at having a comprehensive understanding of the ecosystem of mobile game apps. To this purpose, we conduct a large-scale measurement study over all game apps hosted by four leading app stores in China, which cover both Android and iOS platforms. We collect information of over 75000 mobile game apps in a period of three months (October 2014-January 2015). With obtained datasets, we study the scale, evolution, and overlap of game apps in different app stores from a macroscopic level. We find that none of major app stores can provide a complete set of all game apps. We also investigate download patterns of mobile game apps and the impacts brought by user comments and ratings. We observe clear Pareto effect and power-law effect for game app downloads, and there is no strong positive correlation between app score and the number of its downloads. Last, we characterize the features of popular and unpopular game apps and confirm the negative impacts of embedded ads and paid items. We believe our measurement results can provide useful insights and advice for users, developers, and app store operators.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)793-805
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Network and Service Management
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Measurement study
  • mobile Internet
  • mobile game apps
  • popularity analysis


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