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5 important facts about the mobile game market
5 important facts about the mobile game market
July 23, 2014 | By Kris Graft

A new poll of over 10,000 app developers puts into numbers just how challenging the game app market has become.

Developer Economics recently released its Q3 2014: State of the Developer Nation report, which described a crowded market in which it's very difficult to make any significant income, whether you're talking about apps or games.

You can download the full report here. Below, we've extracted key findings regarding games:

Games are the dominant app category, but the majority of game developers are not financially successful

The survey says: “33 percent of [all app] developers make games, but 57 percent of those games make less than $500 per month.”

But seriously, games are dominant on app stores

The survey says: “[Analytics firm] App Annie’s figures show that over 80 percent of the revenues from app stores are in the games category and that percentage is growing.”

When it comes to finding success, experience counts

The survey says: “The more games a developer has shipped the more likely they are to be financially successful. However, 70 percent of games developers have shipped less than four titles.”

“…The 3 percent of mobile game developers who have shipped 50-plus titles are nearly nine times as likely to be earning over $50,000 per app per month than the 62 percent who have only shipped between one and three titles.”

Game developers are all about multi-platform (and they love Unity)

The survey says: “The average games developer targets three platforms, versus 1.75 platforms for non-games developers.

“Multi-platform games benefit from cross-platform game development tools with Unity by far the most popular, used by 47 percent of game developers. The next paid tool, Adobe Air, comes a distant second at 15 percent.”

Paid download games are getting squeezed out by free-to-play

The survey says: “[Free-to-play games] are destroying the market for pay-per download games. The result is that 57 percent of game developers intending to generate revenue make less than $500 per app per month, i.e. fall under the app poverty line.”

“…The vast majority of [game] revenues are concentrated amongst a handful of publishers making 10s or even 100s of millions of dollars a year. Almost all of these are free-to-play games.”

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