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Casual Games on the iPhone Lessons for Success Stuart Dredge
Who Am I? UK journalist covering mobile, games and digital entertainment Mobile Entertainment / Music Ally Pocket Gamer / Recombu / What Mobile iPhone Games Bulletin
What am I talking about? iPhone market stats Success stories Trends worth knowing about
IPHONE MARKET STATS
Topline Stats 50 million devices 30m iPhones 20m iPod touches Officially 85,000 apps available Unofficial stats suggest 100,000+ More than 2 billion app downloads (Sep 28)
Big Analyst Numbers iPhone games worth $2.8bn by 2014 – 24% of portable games market - DFC 344m iPhone app downloads in 2009  – 70% of global market growing to 3.74bn by 2014 (20%) – Ovum 50 million iPhone sales in 2011 (Bernstein)
User behaviour (1) Average iPhone user has spent $80 on 65 applications 65% of those were free, and avg price paid for premium apps was $1.56 (sums?) 1,200 users surveyed bought 15,000 unique apps Source: AppsFire (Sep 09)
User behaviour (2) Source: Flurry (Sep 09)
User behaviour (3) iPhone users download approximately 10 new apps every month But iPod touch users download 18... Users who pay spend $9 a month on five paid downloads 90% browse and search for apps on their device (so 10MB file limit is important) Source: AdMob (Aug 09)
iPhone OS takeup In Sep 09, 23% of users on 3.1 software 51% using 3.0 26% on 2.x or below BUT: 91% of iPhone users on 3.0 or above, while only 35% of iPod touch users Source: AdMob (Sep 09)
Source: Mobclix (Oct 09)
Paid v Top Grossing PAID TOP GROSSING Fling (59p) Champ Man 2010 (£2.99) 3 Stick-Fu (59p) Rock Band (£5.99) 16 Champ Man 2010 (£2.99) Fling (59p) 1 Doodle Jump (59p) Scrabble (£2.99) 10 Tap Tap Revenge 3 (59p) Sonic The Hedgehog (£3.49) 12 QuizQuizQuiz (59p) Shrek Kart (£2.99) 11 Bejeweled 2 (£1.79) Bejweled 2 (£1.79) 7 Family Guy: Uncensored (£1.79) Real Racing (£3.99) Moto X Mayhem (59p) FIFA 10 (£5.99) Scrabble (£2.99) The Sims 3 (£3.99) Shrek Kart (£2.99) Family Guy: Uncensored 8 Sonic The Hedgehog (£3.49)  Stick-Fu (59p) 2 Backbreaker Football (59p) Earthworm Jim (£2.99) 20 Crash Bandicoot N Kart (£1.79)  Tetris (£2.99) 14 Solitaire (59p) Monopoly Here & Now (£2.99) Rock Band (£5.99)  Crash Bandicoot N Kart (£1.79) Flight Control (59p) QuizQuizQuiz (59p) 6 Parking Mania (59p) NFS Undercover (£2.99) Max Injury (59p) Worms (£2.99) Earthworm Jim (£2.99)  Real Football 2010 (£2.99)
SUCCESS STORIES
iShoot One-man developer – Ethan Nicholas Huge spike in sales from releasing a free Lite version Danger: everyone’s doing it, and the model may soon be outdated
Sally’s Spa Standard time management game but with female focus Initially popular through v.low price of $0.99 / £0.59 Second spike when Megan Fox endorsed it on live TV
Peggle Super popular casual game building on reputation from other platforms Pioneered the act of ‘doing a Peggle’ to rise up App Store chart However, gameplay sustained it, not price cuts
Pocket God Cutesy God game with characters you care about (at $0.99 price) Episodic content helped boost its popularity through word-of-mouth Now in-app payments providing 27% of sales revenues
Flight Control Runaway success with 1.5m downloads and legions of clones Low price plus regular updates with new levels and features Also shows benefit of online and community features
Doodle Jump Hand-drawn graphical style complete with graph-paper look Regular updates and connected features, plus social bragging Easter Eggs with Pocket God and The Creeps
Canabalt One-finger game – brutally simple yet compellingly addictive Simple tweet-your-score feature helping to spread it virally Beautiful graphics and atmospheric sound – no skimping on this side
QuizQuizQuiz Does what it says on the tin: ruthlessly addictive trivia game Localised content + Facebook + Twitter + location-based leaderboards No brand in sight
Stick-Fu Kung-fu stickman fighting Shows that online Flash games can become big iPhone hits Online leaderboards...
Backbreaker Football Console graphics meets casual gameplay (at a 59p price) Makes use of existing middleware – NaturalMotion Morpheme Facebook integration
3D Rollercoaster Rush Casual mobile game rejuvenated for iPhone with simple controls Themed versions – Jurassic and Haunted Followed up with Bundle Pack with all three for £4.99
HomeRun Battle 3D One-tap baseball game – they pitch, you swing Online and local rankings, backed by finely-weighted scoring system Earn balls to get new items – or pay to get others
Enviro-Bear 2010 “ Who is driving that car? Oh my God, a Bear is Driving! How can that Be?!”
IPHONE GAMING TRENDS
The little details... Icons Screenshots Description text Sneaky SEO tricks
Getting in with Apple Apple’s featured apps are entirely editorially driven – can’t buy them BUT you can study them to see what kinds of games and features are in favour Also, casual games get lots of slots
Importance of social media Marketing iPhone games is a world away from trad mobile games marketing YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Blogs Also: the return of the exclusive, and courting the press
Social games so-so Millions of Facebook players hasn’t yet equalled millions of iPhone gamers Lack of viral discovery mechanisms is one cause BUT move to freemium may help virtual item-based business models
Recommendation networks AdMob / OpenFeint / SGN New ways to promote your game to a community of iPhone gamers Discovery works outside App Store, but drives direct sales
Move to freemium model Apple now allows free apps to use in-app payments for content / items More games shifting to free initial download then pay to unlock full game Familiar model for casual games industry – RealArcade etc
‘ iPhone Moms’ Greystripe claims they make up 29.5% of all iPhone owners 59% let kids use their device, and 41% download apps specifically for them Pass-on offers potential for kids’ games – but plenty of competition already
March of the clones Flight Control imitators, retro remakes and console copies Refining a formula has proved popular – don’t forget description keywords Publishers kicking back – StoneLoops! Of Jurassica vs Luxor
Piracy Fishlabs: 95% piracy on first day Ngmoco: 50-90% piracy in first week Smells Like Donkey: 80% piracy in first week The Little Tank That Could: 45 sales, 1,000 people posting high scores
Social location networking game... things Foursquare – check in to your local haunts for points, win achievement badges, compete with friends Flook – upload e-postcards of interesting places and get scored Social apps taking on game-like features – opportunity?
There are  other  App Stores... Lots of developers have fled Java to iPhone – and now unwilling to look beyond BUT what about Android Market, BlackBerry App World, Ovi Store, Windows Marketplace, Vodafone 360... Rival store owners keen for content – and there’s less competition
Cheers! www.mobile-ent.biz www.iphonegamesbulletin.com

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Stuart Dredge - iPhone Casual Games: Lessons for Success

  • 1.  
  • 2. Casual Games on the iPhone Lessons for Success Stuart Dredge
  • 3. Who Am I? UK journalist covering mobile, games and digital entertainment Mobile Entertainment / Music Ally Pocket Gamer / Recombu / What Mobile iPhone Games Bulletin
  • 4. What am I talking about? iPhone market stats Success stories Trends worth knowing about
  • 6. Topline Stats 50 million devices 30m iPhones 20m iPod touches Officially 85,000 apps available Unofficial stats suggest 100,000+ More than 2 billion app downloads (Sep 28)
  • 7. Big Analyst Numbers iPhone games worth $2.8bn by 2014 – 24% of portable games market - DFC 344m iPhone app downloads in 2009 – 70% of global market growing to 3.74bn by 2014 (20%) – Ovum 50 million iPhone sales in 2011 (Bernstein)
  • 8. User behaviour (1) Average iPhone user has spent $80 on 65 applications 65% of those were free, and avg price paid for premium apps was $1.56 (sums?) 1,200 users surveyed bought 15,000 unique apps Source: AppsFire (Sep 09)
  • 9. User behaviour (2) Source: Flurry (Sep 09)
  • 10. User behaviour (3) iPhone users download approximately 10 new apps every month But iPod touch users download 18... Users who pay spend $9 a month on five paid downloads 90% browse and search for apps on their device (so 10MB file limit is important) Source: AdMob (Aug 09)
  • 11. iPhone OS takeup In Sep 09, 23% of users on 3.1 software 51% using 3.0 26% on 2.x or below BUT: 91% of iPhone users on 3.0 or above, while only 35% of iPod touch users Source: AdMob (Sep 09)
  • 13. Paid v Top Grossing PAID TOP GROSSING Fling (59p) Champ Man 2010 (£2.99) 3 Stick-Fu (59p) Rock Band (£5.99) 16 Champ Man 2010 (£2.99) Fling (59p) 1 Doodle Jump (59p) Scrabble (£2.99) 10 Tap Tap Revenge 3 (59p) Sonic The Hedgehog (£3.49) 12 QuizQuizQuiz (59p) Shrek Kart (£2.99) 11 Bejeweled 2 (£1.79) Bejweled 2 (£1.79) 7 Family Guy: Uncensored (£1.79) Real Racing (£3.99) Moto X Mayhem (59p) FIFA 10 (£5.99) Scrabble (£2.99) The Sims 3 (£3.99) Shrek Kart (£2.99) Family Guy: Uncensored 8 Sonic The Hedgehog (£3.49) Stick-Fu (59p) 2 Backbreaker Football (59p) Earthworm Jim (£2.99) 20 Crash Bandicoot N Kart (£1.79) Tetris (£2.99) 14 Solitaire (59p) Monopoly Here & Now (£2.99) Rock Band (£5.99) Crash Bandicoot N Kart (£1.79) Flight Control (59p) QuizQuizQuiz (59p) 6 Parking Mania (59p) NFS Undercover (£2.99) Max Injury (59p) Worms (£2.99) Earthworm Jim (£2.99) Real Football 2010 (£2.99)
  • 15. iShoot One-man developer – Ethan Nicholas Huge spike in sales from releasing a free Lite version Danger: everyone’s doing it, and the model may soon be outdated
  • 16. Sally’s Spa Standard time management game but with female focus Initially popular through v.low price of $0.99 / £0.59 Second spike when Megan Fox endorsed it on live TV
  • 17. Peggle Super popular casual game building on reputation from other platforms Pioneered the act of ‘doing a Peggle’ to rise up App Store chart However, gameplay sustained it, not price cuts
  • 18. Pocket God Cutesy God game with characters you care about (at $0.99 price) Episodic content helped boost its popularity through word-of-mouth Now in-app payments providing 27% of sales revenues
  • 19. Flight Control Runaway success with 1.5m downloads and legions of clones Low price plus regular updates with new levels and features Also shows benefit of online and community features
  • 20. Doodle Jump Hand-drawn graphical style complete with graph-paper look Regular updates and connected features, plus social bragging Easter Eggs with Pocket God and The Creeps
  • 21. Canabalt One-finger game – brutally simple yet compellingly addictive Simple tweet-your-score feature helping to spread it virally Beautiful graphics and atmospheric sound – no skimping on this side
  • 22. QuizQuizQuiz Does what it says on the tin: ruthlessly addictive trivia game Localised content + Facebook + Twitter + location-based leaderboards No brand in sight
  • 23. Stick-Fu Kung-fu stickman fighting Shows that online Flash games can become big iPhone hits Online leaderboards...
  • 24. Backbreaker Football Console graphics meets casual gameplay (at a 59p price) Makes use of existing middleware – NaturalMotion Morpheme Facebook integration
  • 25. 3D Rollercoaster Rush Casual mobile game rejuvenated for iPhone with simple controls Themed versions – Jurassic and Haunted Followed up with Bundle Pack with all three for £4.99
  • 26. HomeRun Battle 3D One-tap baseball game – they pitch, you swing Online and local rankings, backed by finely-weighted scoring system Earn balls to get new items – or pay to get others
  • 27. Enviro-Bear 2010 “ Who is driving that car? Oh my God, a Bear is Driving! How can that Be?!”
  • 29. The little details... Icons Screenshots Description text Sneaky SEO tricks
  • 30. Getting in with Apple Apple’s featured apps are entirely editorially driven – can’t buy them BUT you can study them to see what kinds of games and features are in favour Also, casual games get lots of slots
  • 31. Importance of social media Marketing iPhone games is a world away from trad mobile games marketing YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Blogs Also: the return of the exclusive, and courting the press
  • 32. Social games so-so Millions of Facebook players hasn’t yet equalled millions of iPhone gamers Lack of viral discovery mechanisms is one cause BUT move to freemium may help virtual item-based business models
  • 33. Recommendation networks AdMob / OpenFeint / SGN New ways to promote your game to a community of iPhone gamers Discovery works outside App Store, but drives direct sales
  • 34. Move to freemium model Apple now allows free apps to use in-app payments for content / items More games shifting to free initial download then pay to unlock full game Familiar model for casual games industry – RealArcade etc
  • 35. ‘ iPhone Moms’ Greystripe claims they make up 29.5% of all iPhone owners 59% let kids use their device, and 41% download apps specifically for them Pass-on offers potential for kids’ games – but plenty of competition already
  • 36. March of the clones Flight Control imitators, retro remakes and console copies Refining a formula has proved popular – don’t forget description keywords Publishers kicking back – StoneLoops! Of Jurassica vs Luxor
  • 37. Piracy Fishlabs: 95% piracy on first day Ngmoco: 50-90% piracy in first week Smells Like Donkey: 80% piracy in first week The Little Tank That Could: 45 sales, 1,000 people posting high scores
  • 38. Social location networking game... things Foursquare – check in to your local haunts for points, win achievement badges, compete with friends Flook – upload e-postcards of interesting places and get scored Social apps taking on game-like features – opportunity?
  • 39. There are other App Stores... Lots of developers have fled Java to iPhone – and now unwilling to look beyond BUT what about Android Market, BlackBerry App World, Ovi Store, Windows Marketplace, Vodafone 360... Rival store owners keen for content – and there’s less competition

Editor's Notes

  1. “ The platforms from Apple are expected to be responsible for the bulk of market growth over the next few years” - DFC
  2. “ The platforms from Apple are expected to be responsible for the bulk of market growth over the next few years” - DFC
  3. “ The platforms from Apple are expected to be responsible for the bulk of market growth over the next few years” - DFC
  4. “ The platforms from Apple are expected to be responsible for the bulk of market growth over the next few years” - DFC
  5. “ The platforms from Apple are expected to be responsible for the bulk of market growth over the next few years” - DFC
  6. “ The platforms from Apple are expected to be responsible for the bulk of market growth over the next few years” - DFC