'Angry Birds' Knocked Off Top of Apple App Store Chart by Walt Disney's Swampy

Within 24 hours of its release on Sept. 22, the 99 cents mobile game "Where's My Water?" became the top paid app for iPhones and iPads, with "Angry Birds" now ranking third.

NEW YORK - A Walt Disney video game for iPhones and iPads that features a sewer-dwelling alligator named Swampy has risen to the top spot on Apple's Paid App Store, which another animal-themed game app, the popular Angry Birds, used to hold, Reuters reported.

Within 24 hours of its release on Sept. 22, the 99 cents game, Where's My Water?, took the top spot in the paid app store for iPhones and iPads and has stayed there, beating out Rovio's Angry Birds, which now ranks third on the chart just behind Tap Battlefield HD. The chart doesn't list the number of game downloads or additional data.

In December, Rovio announced 50 million total downloads for Angry Birds, including about 10 million for Android platforms, meaning about 40 million iTunes downloads.

Reuters said the success of the game shows the threat that established entertainment and gaming companies can be for gaming upstarts. Disney also hopes that the game will help it with a turnaround of its struggling gaming business.

Swampy is the first Disney character created specifically for a mobile game. In the game, players must try to help Swampy keep clean by digging paths to guide water to his subterranean bathtub.

Bart Decrem, head of Disney's mobile gaming operations, declined to share figures about the game's number of downloads or financial success, Reuters said. But he told Reuters that the game "has been really well-received, doing really well in terms of downloads and chart positions around the world."

Swampy could become a Disney character with broader appeal and potential, but the executive emphasized that it is too early to tell. "First, Swampy needs to continue to prove himself," Decrem said, adding that it will take about three months to judge the alligator's staying power.

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com

Twitter: @georgszalai