Mobile Gaming - US - October 2013
“The mobile gaming sector is new, widespread, and growing. Non-traditional demographics have taken to mobile gaming. App store listings and gaining good reviews at app stores are critical, and game makers exploring the optimum way to monetize of their product must keep in mind the increased likelihood of download if the game is free and the already proven in-game spend model.”
– Ika Erwina, Retail and Technology Analyst
This report looks at the following areas:
- Catching the wind of change in mobile gaming
- “Why Buy” outlooks affect monetization
Mobile gaming is finding a place among demographics that traditionally shy away from video games. As a result, growth of this market is unlikely cannibalizing gamers from other platforms as much as it is creating new gamers. The overall gaming industry likely has sufficient space for PC, console, online, and mobile gaming to coexist and even merge. Integration across platforms may appeal to core players who plan to purchase next-generation consoles in the near future.
Monetization remains a hot topic for mobile gaming. Mobile gamers are much more willing to download a free game than a paid game, meaning developers or publishers that want to reach a mass audience have to find revenue streams that do not include up-front costs, and free versions of paid games need to incentivize gamers to trade up.
There is still a market for paid games, particularly among traditional gamer demographics, however the same issues stand and publishers of paid games should also continue to explore new ways to create revenue streams from existing game players. The free version of a paid game must be engaging enough to attract initial interest but not fulfilling enough to satiate the gamer’s appetite.
For the purpose of this report, the mobile gaming market is defined as games downloaded for free or for a fee from a mobile carrier or app store on a cell phone or a tablet (eg, iPad, iPad mini, Samsung Galaxy, Kindle Fire). Except in discussion regarding competitive context, the report excludes hardware, games for portable game consoles (such as those made by Sony or Nintendo), or other home-based consoles or computers (desktop or laptop).
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