We recently featured a blog post that provided some insights into the development of successful game apps. It turns out our advice was timely; last week Nielsen released a study showing that game apps constitute sixty-four percent of mobile app consumption, a number comfortably ahead of every other app category. For game app developers, this is significant for a number of reasons.
First, while the study’s methodology was not disclosed, the folks at PadGadget believe that Nielsen’s figures for mobile app consumption might very well have been under-reported. Assuming the study relies on the users’ reports of their own mobile consumption, it’s likely the actual amount of time spent using game apps is higher—and possibly significantly higher—than was suggested by the Nielsen report. Teenagers might be willing to admit honestly how much time they spend gaming, but older users who like to think of themselves as busy, serious people, tend to lowball their own estimates when it comes to pursuits like Angry Birds and Boggle.
Second, and perhaps unsurprisingly, iOS users tend to game significantly more than those with Android, Windows, and Blackberry devices. iPhone subscribers tend to game an average of nearly 15 hours a month, whereas other mobile consumers clock in at about nine. This is important for developers considering launching a game app; while Apple’s app store is by far the biggest with over 15 billion downloads, the chances of a quality game app becoming successful are substantially higher than for other platforms.
Finally, Nielsen likewise provides insight into effective monetization models for game apps. According to the study, 93% of respondents claimed they were willing to pay for game apps, a number considerably higher than those willing to shell out for weather or news. Of course, in-app purchase models are becoming increasingly popular in the mobile app market, but it’s helpful to know that the pay-to-play remains a profitable option when it comes to peddling a quality game app.
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