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10 Trends in iPhone Gaming


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Trends in the iPhone games market - a presentation from the Mobile Games Forum 2010 conference in London, Jan-10.

Trends in the iPhone games market - a presentation from the Mobile Games Forum 2010 conference in London, Jan-10.

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  • Avg price is $4.74, and only two 99c gamesThe most popular iPhone game is only the seventh best in terms of revenuesSweet spots selling shedloads of a premium game like Call of Duty or The Sims 3 – and then $2.99 selling a casual gameAlso note: 15 of the top 20 Top Grossing Apps on the App Store are games
  • Transcript

    • 1. 10 Current Trends in iPhone Gaming
      Stuart Dredge
      Mobile Entertainment / iPhone Games Bulletin
    • 2. Who Am I?
      UK journalist covering mobile, games and digital entertainment
      Mobile Entertainment / Music Ally
      Also Sunday Times, Recombu, What Mobile
      And my own things...
    • 3. iPhone Games Bulletin
      Launched in June 2009
      Daily free email newsletter offering iPhone games industry news and analysis
      Sign up at
      Also (tablet tech and apps)
    • 4. 1. The iphone games goldrush
    • 5. The Big Numbers
      Addressable base of 50m+ devices
      30m iPhones and 20m iPod touches
      More than 3 billion App Store downloads
      7.4m iPhones sold in Q3 2009
      17.8% share of smartphone market (Canalys)
      2.5% share of ALL global handsets (Strategy Analytics)
    • 6. Developers Striking It Rich
      10m Paid iPhone games sold by Gameloft since the launch of the App Store
      $1,687 Revenues per hour of dvpt time forNimbleBit’s Scoops ($269,929 total)
      2m Tap Tap Revenge 3 downloads in a week last Christmas after going free
      10 days How long it took Playmesh to rack up 1m free downloads of iFarm
      13.5m Downloads of Backflip Studios games in seven months ($1.75m of revenue)
      79,422 Doodle Jump’s sales on Christmas Day alone
    • 7. Analysts’ Big Numbers
      $2.8 billion iPhone games revenues in 2014 – 24% of handheld market (DFC)
      18.7 billion App downloads in 2014 – of which 20% will be from Apple devices (Ovum)
      610 million Paid apps in first 2bn iPhone downloads – generating $900m of developer revenues (Pinch Media)
      36 million Number of iPhones that Apple will sell in 2010 (Piper Jaffray)
    • 8. 2. Heavy usage but ferocious competition
    • 9. Heavy Usage
      72% of iPhone users have downloaded 10 or more apps (Compete)
      Average user has downloaded 65 apps for their device, spending $80 in total (AppsFire – Sep 09)
      85% of UK iPhone owners pay for games (UK National Gamers Survey – Dec 09)
      51% for Samsung, 38% for Sony Ericsson and Nokia
    • 10. Ferocious Competition
    • 11. Ferocious Competition
      4,491 apps released on 18-Dec-09 (AppShopper)
      80% of apps are not actively installed (AppsFire)
      80,000 out of 100,000 at the time of the survey (Nov-09)
      Even those that are can be short-lived
      Flurry data: 72% of games still played after 30 days
      But only 23% after 60 days, and 16% after 90 days
    • 12. 3. Piracy and ip infringement
    • 13. Piracy on the App Store
      $450 million of lost revenues (24/7 Wall St)
      Based on 75% piracy rate and 1.5bn illegal downloads
      But also assuming that only 10% of those were ‘lost’ sales
      Rally Master Pro: 95% first-day piracy rate
      Tap-Fu: 80% first-week piracy rate
      Orbital: 80% first-week dropping to 24% later
      Pirate behaviour and first-day / week spike
    • 14. Solutions to Piracy?
      There is no catch-all solution. Sorry.
      Turn pirates into paying customers - in-app payments
      Send takedown requests (i.e. Whack-a-Mole)
      Ask Apple to do something. But what?
      Music – part of the solution is providing better-value and more appealing consumer services. With rich games selling for $0.99 on a slick store, though...
    • 15. IP infringement
      Several high-profile examples of IP battles
      Edge / Edgy / Killer Edge Racing
      Stoneloops of Jurassica v Luxor
      MarioTD / Duck Hunt / BreakClassic / Super Pong 2
      Apple currently playing judge and jury
      The more high-profile iPhone gaming is, the more lawsuits we can expect to see
    • 16. 4. Pricing evolution
    • 17. Prices. How low can they go?
      2008-09: Developer complaints about dive to 99c
      Late 2009: Concerted efforts to buck the trend
      EA holding onto its premium prices
      Canabalt establishing $2.99 success for casual game
      Social games bundling points up to $99.99
      Yet price cuts now standard marketing practice
      ‘Peggling’ down to 99c for limited period
      Will 2010 break the $9.99 price barrier?
      Leaked Assassin’s Creed 2 at $11.99...
    • 18. Top Paid Games chart
      Avg Price: $2.34
      11 games at 99c
    • 19. Top Grossing Games chart
      • Avg Price: $4.74
      • 20. 2 games at 99c
      • 21. One free game
    • In-App Payments
      Eliminate Pro, Skies of Glory, Tap Tap Revenge 3
      Mixed success
      TTR3 in Top Grossing chart – has sold 1m songs
      Eliminate – 500k downloads in a week (but not in TG chart)
      Skies of Glory?
      Other (paid game) examples show mixed results too
      Pocket God – in-app payments 27% of its revenues
      Freeverse – tens of thousands of Flick Fishing payments
      Enigmo: 1m install base but only 25 in-app sales a day
    • 22. What About Advertising?
      In-app advertising fuelling big acquisitions
      Apple/Quattro and Google/AdMob
      Could developers be caught in the middle of a battle?
      Exclusive deals – AdMob/Tapulous (Sep-09)
      Need more success stories from developers
      Backflip Studios - $125k a month from ads (Nov-09)
      Separate trend: advergames
      Reebok iSprint
      Real Racing GTI
      Sirocco 24H Challenge
      Waterslide Extreme
    • 23. 5. Promotion & discovery
    • 24. Promotion
      2009: Pubs and devs got savvy about marketing
      More use of social media in particular
      Developer-led efforts to collaborate on marketing
      Appvent Calendar: 100k downloads of Navy Patrol
      FreeAppaDay just launched with same idea
      APPvertisemARTs from ustwo
      Cross-promotion also becoming more important
      Can tie in with in-app payments (ngmoco / Eliminate)
    • 25. Discovery
      Developers have focused on App Store charts
      Marketing strategies based on ‘get into the top 100’
      Apple’s Genius has been low-profile since launch
      Third-party services filling the gap
      Chorus / Chomp / Appolicious / Apptizr
      Mplayit / AppClassics / AppStoreHQ
    • 26. 6. Social and connectivity
    • 27. Social Games Platforms
      Fierce competition: OpenFeint, Scoreloop, Plus+, Crystal, AGON Online, GameSpy...
      Difference emerging: white-label v brand
      Own-brand iPhone apps for OpenFeint and rivals
      This space is seeing investment
      Aug: $2.8m funding for Scoreloop
      Oct: DeNa invested in Aurora Feint
      Emerging value as promotional platforms
      OpenFeint Gold scheme / AGON consumer site
    • 28. iPhone + Facebook
      So far, Facebook/iPhone links have been limited
      Facebook Connect used mainly for viral buzz
      Playfish/ Zynga / Playdom not taking App Store by storm
      Cross-Platform games: Anytime Pool, Who Has The Biggest Brain, Bumper Stars
      BUT: big iPhone/mobile firms investing in Facebook
      Glu built a social gaming team in 2009
      Ngmoco recruited ex MySpace SVP
      Digital Chocolate’s NanoStars concept
    • 29. 7. Publishing shake-up
    • 30. New Publishers Coming In
      Console firms now interested in mobile
      GTA: Chinatown Wars out this week
      Activision released Call of Duty: World At War: Zombies
      Ubisoft self-publishing, rather than licensing to Gameloft
      Codemasters back in after exiting J2ME market
      But iPhone isn’t just about the console publishers
      Developers seeing opportunity to self-publish
      Social games firms may ramp up in 2010
      Casual publishers like PopCap already punching their weight
      Web Flash studios, iTV gaming firms...
      iPhone is a battleground more than DS and PSP
    • 31. iPhone Firms Going Out
      Games can build buzz on iPhone then extend
      Fieldrunners went to PSP Minis, then mobile
      WiiWare, Xbox Live Arcade, Facebook, PC...
      Other smartphone platforms courting iPhone developers
      Multiple platforms will be increasingly important
      Make more money if prices are higher
      Make more money if competition is less intense
      Make more money if iPhone game tanks
      In 2010, we’ll be talking more about cross-platform developers/publishers for whom iPhone is a base
    • 32. iPhone v PSP Minis Pricing
    • 33. Developers Skilling Up
      Developers have been self-publishing since the early days of the App Store
      BUT now they’re becoming publishers too
      TAG Games and B-Boy Brawl
      Bulkypix publishing several games
      2009 – became clear there IS a role for publishers
      Less about the mechanics of publishing, and more about the marketing
    • 34. Who’s Making Money?
      Source: Top 20 App Store charts, 13-Jan-09
    • 35. 8. Apple as platform owner
    • 36. App Store Improvements
      Top Grossing chart to highlight biggest earners
      Genius for Apps to help discovery
      Redesigned App Store pages in iTunes
      More priority to screenshots
      Only first paragraph of description is shown
      Harder to find genres?
      Halved the price of iPod touch software update
      More transparency in approvals (but enough?)
    • 37. But what next?
      Will Apple publish more first-party games?
      Recruiting Video Game Artist for ‘interactive multimedia’
      Previously hired Xbox senior director of strategy
      Will Apple launch its own social games service?
      M&A expert on board – could it buy a social platform?
      Will Apple take more control of in-app ads?
      $275m Quattro Wireless deal announced in January
      What now for developers using AdMob units?
      What will the iSlate mean for gaming?
    • 38. 9. Ipod touch’s importance
    • 39. iPod Touch For Games
      “What customers told us was, they started to see it as a games machine...” – Steve Jobs
      iPod Touch is the real rival to DS and PSP, not iPhone
      Downloads outstripped iPhone by 172% at Christmas
      Up by 900% on Christmas Day itself (Flurry)
      iPod Touch users download 18 apps a month
      • Compared to 10 a month for iPhone (AdMob)
      Implications: connectivity not a given
      Nor is latest OS – 32% below 3.0 in December
    • 40. iTouch Christmas
    • 41. 10. Rise of the not-quite-game
    • 42. Not Quite Games, But...
      Foursquare / Gowalla / MyTown / Rummble
      Turning real-world social lives into virtual games
      Attracting significant investment from VCs
      Foursquare one check-in a second / 450k MyTown users
      Augmented Reality
      Layar, Junaio, Sekai Camera, Wikitude
      What games are possible – and how niche are they?
      Juniper: $732m by 2014 with games leading the way
      Multiplayer competitive fitness
      iSpeedRunner – train but also compare times
    • 43. CHEERS!
      This presentation will be available on
      Contact me: