Why Was Sailor Moon Drops Cancelled?

Sailor Moon Drops got dropped

Sailor Moon Drops got dropped

While I don’t usually talk much about the latest and greatest going on in Sailor Moon news, I thought that the topic of the recent cancellation of Sailor Moon Drops was interesting enough that it at least warranted an extra look. After all, it seems so odd that a company would cancel a game tied to such a wildly successful franchise, doesn’t it?

Though we haven’t been — and like won’t be — given a straight answer behind why the game is going away, there’s a lot of solid info out there to suggest what may have gone wrong and why the game is on its way out.

Join me as we take a look back and try to figure out why Bandai Namco decided to drop Sailor Moon Drops!

Don't forget to spend more money!

Don’t forget to spend more money!

Before we go any further, it’s probably a good idea to mention something semi-relevant: I’ve never actually played Sailor Moon Drops and wasn’t terribly interested in it… until I heard that it was getting cancelled, that is.

It’s not that I wanted the game to be cancelled, of course, but rather that as far as I was able to see online, the game had a massive following and it just didn’t make sense to me that a company that ostensibly wants to make money would go out of their way to remove it from their roster.

After devoting my lunch hour and a few well-timed coffee breaks to learning everything there is to know about the status of Sailor Moon Drops, one thing became apparent: the app had likely either hit a growth plateau, or was actually losing users sometime around late 2018.

Spolier: that smile won't last forever

Spolier: that smile won’t last forever

Of course, absent an official statement from either Bandai Namco or the game’s developers, I can’t prove any of what I’m about to say here. However, going by the in-game promos, press releases issued by the publisher, and trends in the smart phone game industry as a whole, the numbers weren’t looking too good.

How so?

Well, when it comes to free-to-play smart phone games, there are a few very important numbers that you want to track:1

  • Downloads: the number of times that the app has been downloaded
  • Monthly Active Users (MAU): the number of users who access your app at least once a month
  • Churn Rate: the rate at which you lose users
  • Average Revenue per User (ARPU): the total amount of money you make in a month divided by your MAU
No, it can't be...!

No, it can’t be…!

Sailor Moon Drops … the ball

We don’t have the exact numbers on how many times the game was downloaded globally, but we can make some decent estimates thanks to some benchmarks provided by the company.

Date Event
9/3/2015 Sailor Moon Drops launches in Japan
4/6/2016 Sailor Moon Drops launches in the U.S.
6/21/2016 1 million global downloads2
11/17/2016 2 million global downloads3
2/28/2018 3 million global downloads4

While this may all look pretty impressive at first glance — after all, who wouldn’t love to have your own app downloaded three million times? — the numbers tell an entirely different story. One of dwindling interest, and increasingly slowing growth rates.

Drops hits 3 million downloads

Drops hits 3 million downloads

In the first 10 months of its life, the game was downloaded an average of 100,000 times a month. Things only got better for the game from there, where it gained a whopping average of 200,000 downloads per month between June and November of 2016. And yet, somehow, it would take the game another 15 months to gain that last million users — working out to an average of 66,000 downloads a month.

That’s, of course, assuming that the app had steady downloads throughout its life.

More than likely, downloads have been dropping steadily since the two million downloads benchmark in late 2016, and the actual monthly acquisitions is far, far below that 66,000 number I just quoted above.

But who cares about that? Well…

Not exactly what I meant by engaged, but okay, sure...

Not exactly what I meant by engaged, but okay, sure…

Let’s get engaged

As many of you already know through your own personal experience, smart phone app users are a fickle crowd. So fickle, in fact, that 90% of users stop using an app within one month of downloading it.5

Things get worse by the time you hit the three month mark, with only about 4% of your original fans still hanging in there.6

Assuming that Sailor Moon Drop‘s growth rate hasn’t changed much in recent months (and considering that we haven’t seen a “4 million downloads” notice, that’s a reasonable assumption), that should peg us at around 3.5 million global downloads as of January 2019. Of those 3.5 million, we’ve got a lovely 4% survival rate — and that’s probably high, since it’s very unlikely that many of the original players from 2015 are still playing.

That leaves us with an monthly active user base of about 140,000 players. Globally.

Gotta get that Moony!

Gotta get that Moony!

Shake that Moony maker

So what’s wrong with a player base of 140,000? That’s pretty respectable.

Unless, you know, you have bills to pay.

It’s fairly well known that the vast majority of free-to-play users never pay a dime for any of the cash-grab gachas and other stuff. The ones that do, however, pay hand-over-fist for the pleasure of having more gems.

Obviously the specifics on how much a game makes varies wildly due to their monetization strategy and user base. However, a good estimate is about $1.70 for each monthly active user.7

Assuming all our other numbers are correct, that means that Sailor Moon Drops is making about $238,000 per month. Hardly chump change to mere mortals like us, but when you consider that development of the game is outsourced (which is often more expensive than doing it in-house in the short term) and that they are likely paying royalty fees for the privilege of using the Sailor Moon brand, this isn’t exactly a huge amount of money.

Especially when you consider that the app’s growth rate is on a serious downward trend and that there haven’t been any major Sailor Moon announcements for awhile.

Beautiful maps of Azabu-Juban

Beautiful maps of Azabu-Juban

That’s not to say that it isn’t a shame to see the game go, of course. Even if I wasn’t interested in the gameplay personally, I absolutely adored the art (shout out to Sailor Soapbox for all the awesome character art rips!) and was happy to see fans have a more ways of interacting with the series.

Ultimately, though, all good things must come to an end, and I think it was simply Drops‘ time to go. Bandai Namco’s fiscal year ends on March 31,8 so they probably wanted to close this game out now rather than carry it into their investor reports for the next year. At least that’s my best guess.

So how do you feel about this announcement? Were you an active player of the game? I’d be interested to hear from people who actually played it, since I I hear they did a fairly good job with the characterizations in the game and in creating a compelling story. Let me know your thoughts down below!

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  1. As someone who’s translated countless press releases on smart phone games, let me assure you that the nitty-gritty of how these numbers can be fudged for PR purposes is quite fascinating…
  2.  See Sailor Moon Drops hits 1 million downloads
  3.  See Sailor Moon Drops hits 2 million downloads
  4.  See Sailor Moon Drops hits 3 million downloads
  5.  See Churn Rate
  6. See Worldwide mobile app retention rate during the first 90 days of ownership
  7.  See Mobile Apps’ Average Revenue per User Benchmarks for Q1 2018
  8.  See Bandai Namco (Company Profile)

69 thoughts on “Why Was Sailor Moon Drops Cancelled?

  1. I quit playing within the first year, as it was leaning more towards Candy Crush style making levels hard and requiring you to spend money to get items to clear them, and connecting to social media to ask friends to open up new areas to progress. They eventually opened up a bunch of areas, but the levels are still too challenging! I’ve been playing again now and it takes 3 or more tries per level to clear them, oftentimes it’s just impossible to meet the goals.
    I’m more sad the game is shutting down because of the fact that there will be no way to go back to it and play it 10, 20 years in the future. The downside of digital games or online only games. Imagine not being able to play Sailor Moon Another Story because all the carts deactivated and required something in them to run so ROM dumps won’t work. Preservation of media is harmed so much by the move to digital only. Also yeah the art was good and cute and it was a cute and short retelling of the plot.

    • I’m more sad the game is shutting down because of the fact that there will be no way to go back to it and play it 10, 20 years in the future. The downside of digital games or online only games.

      Exactly this! While I may not have personally been a fan of the game, it’s really sad to me that even 1-2 years from now, new fans will never be able to experience it. The only option available to them is to watch YouTube streams or look at screenshots.
      I get that the free-to-play model requires that players need to have the constant ability to spend money at their fingertips, but I wish that rather that just closing it, they’d just put it up for sale on the market as a complete game.

      • This was actually one of the reasons why I avoided this kind of games. Drops was an exception because, well, it’s “Sailor Moon” (and now I low-key regret caving in and starting playing it). Heck, I’m pretty sure I never even considered owning a smartphone until this game was released – I started playing it on my dad’s phone, but realized I needed a bigger screen and ended up buying a tablet.

        Also, I feel sorry for the people who created this game. They get to see ALL of their effort wasted just because it stopped bringing in enough money. This is just plain disrespectful. Especially in an era when people can and do buy games from two-three decades ago if those are made to run on modern hardware.

        • I dunno… no offense to the developers, but it looks like their entire portfolio consists of this kind of “create it and forget it” smart phone game work…

          • They WERE regularly adding in a lot of characters, though. And there’s indication that more of them was planned. And they didn’t really have to add a sixth map (Stars was challenging enough, and events had unlimited potential), yet they did. Seriously, compared to what the game was like in the beginning, that’s a lot of work put into it over the three years.

  2. Oh man! I had not the slightest idea that this game was gonna be cancelled. That sucks because I was actually thinking of getting it, but I guess I’ll just stick with Another Story.

    • To be fair, Another Story is an awesome game.

      I just started streaming Sailor Moon fan games on Twitch last weekend, and will be making my way through Another Story on a live stream probably in the next month or so!

  3. I actually deleted the app a few months ago – it was really addictive! A fun way to spend time, too, I played at least a hour every day. The art was really cute and the backgrounds were amazing. I liked the collectible wallpapers and episodes – maybe you saw some of them on a video, it was basically a visual novel-like adaptation of the key episodes from the anime. There was even a brand new short story in the Super Sailor Moon event! Otherwise, some of the levels were very hard to beat, so progressing was slow, and it wasn´t extra good, but at least we had a SM game. It´s still a pity they took it down, I didn´t even know until I got notified about this article!

    • One reason why I never played it is because I got really obsessed with TsumTsum for awhile. Played it constantly. On the train, during coffee breaks at work, at night, etc.
      Games on my smartphone not only kill my battery, but they kill productivity for me!

  4. Another factor’s maybe that they’ve run out of storylines? They did, a few weeks ago, tack on a sorta prequel romance story, but we’ve gone through everything in the main stories and defeated Galactica at this point, so they’d have to start making up more and more BS to keep having new things for people to play…
    The friend function is weird, in that you can specifically search for you friend, but then there’s no way to communicate. You can send hearts, help unlock a new area, and…that’s it. Not hugely interactive on that front.
    I do enjoy the cuteness n bright colors n such!

    • I didn’t think you that, but you’re definitely right on the story arc issue.

      Considering they are Bandai, I suppose they could use all the old musical plots from the 13 year Bandai musical in the 90s to 2000s? =p

      • Lol! That actually would be awesome! I’ve been playing Drops almost daily for the last year, and I love the artwork. Such a shame we’re losing it! But yeah, a lot of the levels are super hard to win if you don’t spend money on it.

    • If they wanted to, they could have added in the actual “Another Story’ non canon video game that’s highly praised for it’s story, featuring counterparts to each of the scouts (hey, more possible characters to collect).

      And having an event to get the beta Eternal Sailor Moon design by Fukano. Which would have been so beautiful to get.

  5. Yes! I’ve been playing Sailor Moon drops since its US release. I am one of those who gladly shelled out real money to be able to unlock characters during limited events. Recently though, I’ll admit I’ve slowed down. The fact is, Animal Crossing Pocket Camp is currently stealing all my free time. I wish I had more time in the day to play both games, but when competing limited events happen at the same time, I have to pick one to focus on to actually “win.” Pocket Camp has been in that… camp… for the past few months. Guess maybe I’m not the only one. Sad to see Drops go though, I loved being able to unlock new wallpapers!

  6. Well, crud. Your post is how I just found out about this. I am an active player; I play a little almost every day. It’s because I really enjoy the art and little 3Dish characters and their attack animations. And the map screens are gorgeous! I just finished a time limited puzzle set to get Sailor Cosmos, which I was really happy about…oh well. I’ll admit, I’m one of those people who never payed for the items. I don’t have the money to spare, and playing without buying gems forces you to get better (as much as you can; it’s mostly luck based). The little story episodes are fun! Deeply truncated, given the medium, but accurate to the original anime story line.
    The best one was the “event” to get Sailor Uranus, because it had exclusive episodes that tell how Haruka first awakened as a Sailor Solder, and how she met Michiru. For short episodes, it’s a fairly dramatic story.
    Actually, that brings up a question I have that I always thought would be good to send your way! Was this story from the Sailor Moon Drops game (Haruka’s awakening and meeting Michiru) approved or penned by Ms. Takeuchi? Would it ever be able to be considered canon? The game claimed that this story was never told anywhere else.

  7. I’m so sad to see it go (I played the US release almost every day and I “beat” the JP version a week before the announcement… the last seven stages spell out T H A N K S ♥︎ so I figured it was the end). I appreciate this post because it does clear up the mystery!

      • The Japanese version had a faster-paced destroy the gems to injure various enemies thing going on in the Game Center (something that was always “coming soon”, and presumably won’t ever be now, in the international version).
        Part of that game were collectable characters with their own defence and attack stats that could be leveled up to make it easier to survive the rounds and earn more points toward new characters and the like.
        It was also possible to use/buy gems to trade for random (and often exclusively-timed) characters but the random generator was such that the Super and Memorial-Rares were pegged at 1% or so.

  8. Great article!

    I tweeted about my ragequit after I lost my save, but even before then, there were more than a few times I went “Skuld, not the (censored) Cake level again” so there was a bit of fatigue even before that. And there were some headscratching things about the game, like why Sailor Venus’ Crescent Beam was at best hit or miss compared to the other senshi’s attacks in game.

    I’m a bit more philosophical about it; I was a casual player on City of Heroes, and that was a game I was putting money into, even after it went F2P.

    Still ticked I lost Naru-chan though.

    • Though I’ve never played the game and can’t comment directly, the feeling I get is that they started making more and more intentionally frustrating/difficult levels to force players into buying gems.
      I mean, that’s obviously how the free-to-play model works, but there really does need to be a balance between making purchases a simple perk and frustrating the ever-loving-hell out of your player base to force them to buy stuff.

      • I agree that when comparing the attacks between characters it didn’t all make sense.

        But I still play this game religiously and am sad to see it go. Though I’ve had to spend a few days playing one or two levels I got stuck on, I never had to spend to get through it and get all of the characters. To get all you can from a free game, you have to have patience in spades.

        Besides the great art and story line, the thing that stands out the most is that they never once forced ads or actual pay to play events like every other free game I’ve ever played. It feels like they kept it all about the love of the fandom and I really appreciated that.

        • I can only hope that, if we’re REALLY lucky, they’ll take this as an opportunity to launch a new Sailor Moon game onto the market.

          =( But it seems like they would have announced that if it were the case.

  9. As a player from the beginning (so many moons ago) this news hurts a bit. But I am not surprise.
    I think the retention of players have been affected by the following.
    – Lost of ALL data if you do not have a valid code. I think many players – especially those payers would not play again if they lost their progess and gems. I had successfully transfer through 3 phones and ios to andriod. Then my 12yo deleted the app trying to install a glamour game. I had completed everything and was waiting for the next realese. I had a code I generated a few weeks earlier (just in case) and it didn’t work. It was all lost. I was gutted.
    – Spacing of realeses of no new realeses and then a flurry of releases.
    – Gems too expensive. I used to get a pack of gems once or twice a year as it was a great game and wanted to support it. Other times I am too poor to be spending money on a game.
    – Battery drainage. This app sucks the battery on a mobile, even on the dimmest energy saving setting.
    – recently the app can not be played with any music app or audio book going too. This was my favourite time out, my playlist and some soothing box matching.

    • I still find it absurd that they couldn’t do anything about the save data other than having you make a recovery code in advance. It’s not like most people are going to assume that their phone is going to break…

      • THIS!!!

        I was a player from the very beginning of the English version. I was one of the trailblazers constantly getting to the ‘locked’ levels, waiting for the game to unlock more.

        However, then came tablet destruction, and I lost all of my progress, and even the five or so bucks I threw at them, and was furious.

        I think I did restart once, but was behind. Lost that tablet, and some money, too.

        It seemed sad that since it was connected to Google Play (it remembered my achievements) they couldn’t have the data backed up there.

        After losing progress, limited event characters, etc TWICE, I had given up on the game.

        I am a HUGE sailor moon fun, but constantly losing your progress (and never ANTICIPATING having your device die) was last straw, sadly 🙁

  10. It drives me crazy that SM fans only had this one game app but we are absolutely inundated with DBZ games on all kinds of platforms. I don’t understand Namco’s actions.

    • Comparing the numbers, it’s unfortunately pretty clear why — DBZ games sell/get a lot of attention.
      Sailor Moon Drops gained 3 million downloads in 2.5 years. Dragon Ball Legends gained 10 million in just one month.

      That’s not to say that Sailor Moon isn’t popular, of course, but the scale is totally different.

  11. I’ve played it every day since it came out. While it’s sad to see a unique and cute game go, I won’t miss it much. The puzzles were mostly punishing, which made me unable to get most of the limited-time characters, and it always encouraged using items to win, items which you either had to pay for or grind achievements to afford. One less addiction never hurt me.

  12. I downloaded the EN version back when it was first released and would play it every day! But I noticed that when playing events it would get harder and harder to pass them oftentimes I wouldn’t be able to complete the final level to get whichever character was available. Because of the difficulty I started playing it less and less only coming in every so often for daily rewards or specific characters. But my game started to glitch a lot specifically around events. I distinctly remember passing one of the michiru events and my game glitched and force crashed. Not only that but it lost all my information and deleted several of the characters I’d gotten like my data was corrupted. This made me so upset that I didn’t login for months. (I never attempted to contact support because I was so upset I didn’t want to do anything with the game at all for awhile) I’d started logging in more often later but it was still fairly rare and now this announcement was made. Despite my frustrations I’ll be sad to see it leave I really enjoyed playing it and I loved the artwork in game!

    • It seems like the game definitely had a lot of problems to iron out. But despite all the bad points, it still brought a lot of joy to the players and had some awesome art to boot. I’m gonna be sad to see it go.

  13. What I find strange in all this is that, at least from Toei’s licensing numbers (the only revenue numbers I have for Sailor Moon), the franchise is having its best year in a decade, even surpassing Precure in one quarter. Normally this kind of good performance is associated with gacha games doing well… I don’t really understand where Toei is getting all this licensing money, as they aren’t involved in the musicals and I can’t imagine the merch selling better now than when Crystal was showing.

      • Yup.


        Toei revenue for Sailor Moon in the Domestic License category is on 420 Million yen for the last 3 quarters (April-December 2018).

        To give an idea of what this means, the best result on the last 5 fiscal years (entire fiscal years, not 9 months) was 341 million yen in FY2016 (April 2015-March 2016). On the last fiscal year (April 2017-March 2018) it didn’t even enter the listing, and was thus below Saint Seiya’s 356 million yen.

        • Hmm… isn’t Sailor Moon being re-released on bluray in Japan right now? That would explain a lot of licensing money going to Toei.
          The Stars licensing by Viz and theatrical showings in the US would explain some of the overseas income… but int terms of Japan stuff, that’s my best guess.

          • Normally that should go in “sales of goods”, but I’m not sure if that’s the case for an older series.

          • That is true. Though I can’t think of anything else that’s been licensed for Sailor Moon as of late, especially in Japan. I guess it’s possible that there’s a deal that was struck behind the scenes and just wasn’t announced, but typically if you’re making a lot of money on something, you’d want to draw attention to that.

            Could be that Sailor Moon was picked up by one of the streaming services in Japan? I know that only the R and S movies are available on Netflix here, and Amazon Prime only has a similar selection. Maybe the first season is available somewhere, but that’s it.
            But I don’t think that’s it, because Naoko owns the broadcasting rights (since ~2002 or so).

          • Looking at the Blu-ray boxes, they have both Toei Animation (the animation studio) and Toei Company’s (the group, that owns 41% of Toei Animation plus a movie and tokusatsu business) logos. That’s not the case for DBS and DBZ at least: in fact I have seen only movies with both logos.

            Maybe Toei Animation licensed Sailor Moon to Toei Company’s home video department? Instead of launching it themselves? That would explain why it appears as licensing money.

          • That would at least make some sense. The weird situation involving who owns what, and what companies have ties to each other can get really muddy with Sailor Moon, so it’s not out of realm of possibility that they licensed it back to Toei Group for publishing.

  14. Is it true?

    My dear son and I have been playing the game for nearly a year now. He’s a huge Jupiter fan and got cooking Makoto yesterday to his big delight. When I broke the news to him this morning, he was devastated.

    • It’s true that the game is being cancelled, but as for the reasoning why, it’s very rare that a company ever makes a statement. This is just my best guess, considering that the game seems to have been struggling to continue to build an audience.

  15. I’ve been playing the game since it’s US debut & am sooo saddened to see it go! I play it everyday, multiple times a day, & even on my kid’s tablet so she can have the characters also. I feel it’s true about the levels being too hard or not getting the events in time as well, & possibly forcing you to purchase extras to get through the levels (which I have done). All that says to me though, is that games cheat & people lack dedication lol. I’m a true Moonie, always & forever, so I relish any opportunity I can get to live in the nostalgia that is Sailor Moon. I love all the story arcs in the game & all the characters you can acquire and their attacks, and the art is amazing. I’m gonna be so lost not playing this everyday .

  16. I made a huge mistake with reading these Toei IR things.

    Apparently they break down by category like this:

    1 Film: which actually means revenue directly related to content produced by them
    1.1 Domestic Film
    1.1.1 Movies: which actually seems to mean box office revenue only
    1.1.2 TV: anything directly from TV broadcasting
    1.1.3 Content: here’s where DVD and Blu-Rays should slot in: they comment that it’s doing badly without Sailor Moon Crystal DVDs
    1.1.4 Others: includes “video distribution rights” in Japan… streaming maybe? And also video games directly produced by Toei, which aren’t many
    1.2 Overseas Film
    2 Licensing: AKA copyright, licensing of anything non-content
    2.1 Domestic Licensing
    2.2 Overseas Licensing
    3 Sales of Goods: direct sales of products that aren’t related to content
    4 Others: events and such?

    So the conclusion when Sailor Moon goes sharply up in domestic licensing for one quarter is that… I have no idea what is going on. I guess without any specific information about Sailor Moon we won’t really have any better data.

    • Was this not the same period that they did the Universal Studios show? They also we’re selling tickets to the two musical collabs and the classic concert over the summer…

      As for DBZ vs Sailor Moon game interest, the comparison completely reflects the old TV ratings you did an article on!

      I’m also sad to see it go even if I didn’t play much after a while cause I have a young child and all ;_;.

  17. It’s depressing. I know in some ways it was a “pay to win” game but I loved the chibi-esque art, the lively and cute characters, all their different attack animations, the exclusive story episodes and the strategy involved. I got really good at clearing maps after a while while only spending a little on gems here and there, and collecting all the different characters was a lot of fun for me. I understand it’s a business decision, but I’ll still be sad to see this game that immersed us so gently and sweetly into the Mooniverse say goodbye.

  18. Some news translated with google:
    Bandai Namco, the company specializing in the development of video games, has announced the creation of a new development studio, ‘Bandai Namco Sevens’, which for the moment has not given details on the titles will be transferred to this new headquarters.

    Bandai Namco has decided to expand and has announced the creation of the new company Bandai Namco Sevens, which will start operating on April 1 with Takayuki Kaneko as president, as Japanese Nintendo picks up.
    So there is still hope, that SMD will be reopened.
    I play in this game more than 2 years. I really enjoy it – new maps and characters were added. It was interesting to play and read story. Still English version don’t have some events from Japanese.
    But it’s obvious why SM doesn’t have so many downloads as other Bandai games – story is for girls. Boys will choose Naruto, One piece or DB.
    Also there are tons of 3-in-row games. And such games are used to kill time or relax. You won’t spend hours there like in Naruto, where you must build team and evolve characters.

    It’s really sad that such a popular brand doesn’t have normal mobile game. I really hope that new studio will create something.

    • Not sure about the chances of the game being reopened. I can’t recall any time in recent memory where a game was cancelled and then later uncancelled.

      If anything, they may make a new game. But I’d be all for that anyway.
      Considering that it was suffering from pretty slow growth and that there’s still no news on the Crystal Dreams movie, though, I’d say that they’ll probably let the franchise hang for a bit until it gets a bit more publicity with the relaunch of Crystal.

  19. It’s kind of funny since I just deleted it from my phone less than a week ago!
    I played it for a few days around launch.

    I had been really excited but was disappointed that it was one of those games nearly impossible to progress without constantly spending cash on it.
    That’s all fine and good if a game is good and rewarding, but Drops was generic with a Sailor Moon skin slapped on. I didn’t find anything about it particularly amusing or charming aside from the character designs, and while I hate that it will now be a lost Sailor Moon game, I am also not really sad to see it gone.

    • Agreed. It was fun to see the Sailor Moon characters in there but the game itself was genuinely subpar. After a week or two I never wanted to play it again.

      • Though I’ve never played it, I always just got the impression that it was a really generic, standard connect-three game with a Sailor Moon skin slapped on top.
        At least it had somewhat of a plot, though!

    • This wasn’t true by the way. As someone who used to play it, it wasn’t generic at all. Each character had their own ultimates to power to clear levels based on their a tual powers, for example venus had a heart string row clearer, and jupiter had a lightning surge that cleared things more randomly. The gems themselves were all sailor moon themed with the inner scouts, the event levels had sm themed unlocks, for example Pluto’s time gates etc was one. You got characters in various scout skins or uniforms. Even the “pay” devices to clear levels were sailor moon themed, like Luna P balls. It seems that people who think it was “just” candy crush with a sailor moon skin on top had never really played it. My mother loves match three games and she still laments the loss of SM drops as she hasn’t found any as good since. It had a massive amount of thought into it. If you only played it once you aren’t qualified to judge it, sorry.

  20. I still play this game and play it daily. I never paid any money for this one (because I don’t pay money for any game that I play), so sometimes I get a character and sometimes I don’t. What I liked about it was that there was more thought put into it than just a slap-on-a-Sailor-Moon-veneer-and-forget-it situation. I enjoyed the animation of the character powers and even earned some wallpapers that will be the only remnants that I’ll have left of it. It is the only game of its type I’ve kept on my phone and once it’s gone I’m not going to download another. It was because of the characters and storylines that I didn’t get that bothered that I didn’t earn everything (because I was having fun), and I can see myself being more frustrated with only having the puzzle to focus on in other games. It was a fun distraction that ate a few minutes out of my day and I’m going to miss it.

  21. Yeah I have the game but haven’t played it in a while. Sad to see it go.
    If they need new ideas, take this art and make a rhythm game with all the original songs. Usagi meets miku lol. People would pay including myself.

  22. The biggest hang up for me. DATA SAVE. DATA SAVE. D.A.T.A. S.A.V.E. I got into a car accident in 2016, the year I started playing. That was also the first year I started paying for games. Two in particular; Game of War and Sailor Moon Drops.

    I spent hundreds on this game. Easily. Something the old me would have never done. I also convinced my older sister to play and she was hooked…. until her phone broke and her data save didn’t work. I emailed them about it and the said without the user ID, basically there was nothing they could do and honestly they stated they WOULDN’T do anything for players who lost data. Even those of us who took our screenshots faithfully of new generated codes.

    I was temporarily locked out of my original account because of this, but my sister and I decided to start again and to screenshot codes more often. Didn’t work. After successfully transferring once, every other time, my data (money) was lost. Characters were lost. The past doors section didn’t offer any of the special event characters, so if you missed one or lost one, you were basically screwed if you didn’t catch the rerun.

    If they had simply connected the player info to another platform like google games or facebook, or allowed users to create their own password (even if they had to remember their ID) it could be Sooooo much easier and more fulfilling to continue to play.

    A beautiful game broke my heart one too many times. It went from 5 stars to 3 down to 1 over the course of 2 going on 3 years for me. I don’t want the game to leave, I want them to fix the data issue.

    Regarding new levels, they could’ve made a special event level where you played to gain the event characters you may have missed. They honestly had options imo. Yet my biggest gripe was the fact that not only were users always losing data, but also that the company never seemed to care.

  23. I have been playing since it was first released. I spent a bit of money at first but after that refused to (except that time I got an apple gift card for Christmas).
    It took me a lonnnnnng time to get some of my favourite characters; I found 2 weeks to not be enough time for the events but was able to complete events early when they were re-released for a 4 week period.

    The game was really cute and sometimes curved my anxiety.

    I definitely did not like all of the cash grabbing. A lot of the items seemed overpriced; maybe if they were cheaper, more ppl would be willing to pay a bit here and there and overall the game would make more money.

    Anyway, I played this game on my iPhone 4s, 5s and now my SE. due to a mistake of data transfer, I lost my entire account — the company doesn’t do anything at all. This really it sheds a light on how little the company is willing to help users have enjoyable play. I think this management style ties into the success of the game and now many users are retained. I’ve heard of potential users outright avoiding the game bc the risk of losing all their data and progress was so high, with no safety net.

    This was the only game I played on my phone for literally years lol. It’s weird to not be able to open it.

  24. Please don’t shut this game down it’s so much better than candy crush. I Love this game

  25. I’ve been an active player for a good amount of time now and the news has me heartbroken. The levels were a lot more engaging than games like Candy Crush or Gardenscapes and also weren’t impossible. I felt I could beat each level even if it took a good amount of time and I played without spending a single amount of real life currency… and I loved that! It felt like a great accomplishment!

    The art and interactive pieces of it also added to the charm and I can’t tell you how many hours I’ve spent idly playing, enjoying having something pretty + fun to do! I’ll miss it very much, here’s to hoping for another game like it in the future!

    Goodbye, Sailor Moon!

  26. The English version was available in 2015 and I played since the beginning. Except for buying a new device when an update kept crashing on my Samsung Centura, I spent no money on the game. So sad to see no offline version.

  27. I downloaded Sailor Moon Drops on my tablet a few months ago. I was just about to finish Sailor Moon Viz dub. Soon I can out of space so I deleted it. I wanted to go back and play it again because i wanted to see what happened in Sailor Moon Sailor Stars. When I deleted it for the first time i had just started reading the manga and watched Sailor Moon Crystal. Crystal only has the first three seasons. I am only on the third book of the Manga. I’m sad I will never get to play Drops. And I’ll have to wait forever to see the fifth season of Sailor Moon!!!! I don’t want want to watch the sub.

    • It’s always nice to hear about newer fans to the series! Unfortunately it looks like Crystal will still be quite a wait, but at least the Sailor Stars dub doesn’t seem too far off.

  28. My daughter wants Sailor Moon Drops back. It’s her favourite game. She’s been crying about it since she realized it was cancelled.

    • It really is a travesty that they couldn’t be bothered to just sell the game for a few bucks and take out the gem purchasing system. They could’ve made a good few sales rather than just ending it forever. =(

  29. I had played it I think a couple of years ago but since it was hard to get farther without money i lost interest. I did end up playing it again after that but since I have had 9 surgeries and need medical supplies I couldn’t pay so I could get farther in the game. I still love that game though because of the beautiful artwork and it has Sailor Moon. I’m sad it’s been cancelled because I appreciate the work put into the game. It was a fun game of course.

  30. I didn’t even know the game was going to be cancelled until I saw this article. But tbh I had quit playing almost a year or so ago and just never deleted it off my phone. I didn’t get very far in the game I think I had only unlocked on or two of the inner scouts stories. It seemed like after a couple of updates the levels went from challenging to outright impossible without spending large amount of money for very small perk packages. Also it seemed like there was never enough time to fully complete the limited events either. I think I had only ever managed it once due to being on a break from school or something.

    I would have gladly paid for a while copy of the game I could keep on my phone that didnt use the free to play model. Those types of games are actually my favorites, because I have the whole game on my phone and can play at my leisure and even choose a difficulty level in some of them. I feel like personally I would have enjoyed that much more. That way I could then set the level of difficulty to my personal preference. Since I sometimes use games to pass the hours are work between customers, most of the time I just want something easy that doesn’t require me to spend countless retires just to pass one level.

  31. I actually played this game as it was getting cancelled and I really like it, hella addicting and really good looking.like I really liked the art style, but then one day it said that I couldn’t play it because of my network but my network was fine and so I proceed to uninstall the game and when I went to the play store It wasn’t there no more and I was really surprised because I remember an event was going on about the unicorn guy with white hair (Helios if I’m not wrong) and then I looked it up and hear it got cancelled and the funny thing was that I took a screenshot of my ID and data transfer password (I still have to this day) then at first I was surprised that it was not in the play store so I looked up online and read why it got cancelled and was really sad
    My ID was wwb69980f and data transfer password knq3-7rgt-h8ys-s8u2 (since its cancelled might as well share it) and funny thing I download again in non savory way and noticed that it still says that there is something wrong with my network

  32. I had lost my game when they were no longer linking to google/FB anymore. Their customer service was awful and I think that’s what made this game go under. After emailing them that I wanted my game back they finally responded saying something like ‘no’ and ‘tough’. If they had decent customer service, more fun levels, more extra levels with a lot more powerful items and more variety of characters, I bet this game would be available today. Also no one wants to play a game that their data can be erased any moment and never retrieved. I had a 5 star review for this game until that happened. I put up a 1 star review warning people of that. Definitely went under for not caring about their customers’ needs and lack of creativity too (maybe they could have made new stories up or decorate something like the moon kingdom etc). I do hope that another fun sailor moon game comes out by a company that actually cares.

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