Mobile social gaming in US during 2009 was almost nothing. In 2012 its estimated to reach over $3B. Smartphones are becoming more powerful than ever and expected to comprise 70% of all phones sold in 2015. Is the world ready for mobile social gaming? More after the jump.
It all started in Japan
- 1999: NTT DoCoMo launched iMode, a full content store on mobile device
- 2000/2001: Color phones and camera features began appearing
- 2008: Gaming became a dominant entertainment activity and social games appeared on mobile platforms
- 2009/2010: Mobile carrier transaction fees are below 10% in Japan whereas in the West they are nearly 40%.
According to Distimo, IAPs delivered approximately 50% of the revenues from top grossing iPhone apps.
IAP delivered approx. 30% of the revs from top grossing iPad apps.
50% of the top 50 grossing Apps on App store are freemium vs 4% last year
– Jan 2010: 2 freemium iPhone apps in top 50
– Jan 2011: 24 freemium iPhone apps in top 50
Freemium mobile game revenues expected to reach $14Bn in 2014 according to Juniper Research.
DeNA generated $700M from freemium games
GREE announced Q3’10 mobile social gaming revenues of $105M
PopCap announced 25% of its revenues came from in-game mobile transactions in 2010
65% of all iPhone/iPad games in 2nd half of 2010 were freemium
in-app purchases accounted for 80% of freemium iOS revenues in September
38% of social game playing women play multiple times a day; 60% of women play these games with people they know
A few currently successful social mobile games are TapResort, PapayaFarm, Restaurant Story, Smurfs’ Village
How can you take advantage?
Social mobile games are all centered around their communities. Companies who can build and sustain their communities will be a step ahead of their competitors. In order to grow a successful social mobile game, however, companies must have a well mapped strategy for each aspect of launching a game: development, monetization, marketing and post-launch support.
In Summary, a good freemium social mobile game needs to:
- have real people, events, maps etc.
- be persistent and operated as a live service
- be personal and support players’ individuality, personality and social graphs across various social networks.
- be free
The content is one half of the battle. The other half is knowing which platforms to be on (Android Phones and Tablets, iPad, iPhone etc.), which technologies to use when developing your games (Unity, or Objective C, or HTML5), which gaming networks to use (OpenFeint, PapayaMobile etc.) and more. In our next post we will detail out everything companies need to know about operating social games on mobile platforms. Stay tuned.
Azam Khan is a social and mobile gaming analyst, writer and consultant. Anyone looking for social or mobile game development, please contact email@example.com. Follow Azam on Twitter @AzamKhan