While the PlayStation Vita
and Nintendo’s 3DS compete to win the portable console gaming crown, unsurprisingly it is Apple’s iOS devices which are proving to be the heavyweight mobile gaming champ that Sony, Nintendo and Google’s Android platform alike need to reckon with.
According to new research
by international market research firm Newzoo, iOS games are grossing a substantial five times more profit than their Android counterparts in the US.
The insights garnered by Newzoo are based on a fresh round of National Gamers Surveys that involved 17 000 respondents, in combination with monthly iOS and Android game revenue and download data of the top 200 grossing games.
Of all US-based mobile gamers, apparently 19 million play on an iPhone, which is 28% of all smartphone gamers, with an additional 18 million gaming on an iPod Touch. In the tablet gaming space, the iPad is dominant with a share of 60%.
Sunny outlook ahead
What’s more, the growth of mobile gamers as a demographic is only growing. The report elaborates that the number of mobile gamers in the US has grown from 75 million to 101 million, of which 69% plays on smartphones and 21% on tablets.
According to the company, the largest growth can be found in the conversion to paying players, which in itself has grown 35% to 37 million players in the US, or 36% of all mobile gamers.
This, it elaborated, indicated that mobile gaming was “set for another year of double-digit revenue growth” in the US. Additionally, while mobile gaming preferences between the US and European countries may differ, apparently both continents share a common favouring of iOS games over Android.
The price is right
However, the really interesting part of the report comes from the fact that for both Android and iOS devices, the majority of money is not spent on downloading games but within the games themselves: a staggering 91% for Android and 91% for iOS games.
Extrapolating, this spells good news for mobile gamers irrespective of what platform they choose, as it means that game developers can release a high quality title for free and make their profits from players who opt to buy in game items. One such example of the successful implementation of this as a business model is the highly popular Temple Run.
“When analysing Apple’s successful monetisation, there is one dominant factor outside of differences in audience demographics and preferences: Apple requires users to connect their credit card information directly to their account, thus creating a seamless purchase experience. I can hardly imagine any other company in the world that would be able to get away with this, including Google and Microsoft. Facebook can come a long way, but Amazon clearly has the best chance and is proving this as we speak,” commented Peter Warman, Newzoo’s chief executive officer.
To the point
Newzoo though is confirming what no doubt many mobile gamers who play on their smartphones and tablets have known for some time: the mobile gaming sector has probably never been stronger.
Indeed, judging by the abundance of titles on both Android and iOS platforms, the runaway success of casual titles like Cut the Rope and Draw Something, and the presence of gems like Rinth Island, the future for mobile gaming is likely only as exciting as it is unpredictable.