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Games dominate the Windows Store download charts

Games dominate the Windows Store download charts

February 4, 2016 | By Alex Wawro

When it comes to the Windows Store, games accounted for the most downloads and the most in-app purchases over the 2015 holiday season, according to a blog post published today by Microsoft.

That encompasses all the PCs, tablets and other mobile devices in the worldwide Windows ecosystem, and while it evinces an ongoing trend -- games have long dominated the download and revenue charts on Android and iOS as well -- it's a fun fact for developers who put in the effort to port their games to the Windows Store.

There are more fun facts to be found in the full blog post, among them that games accounted for 32 percent of downloads across all Windows devices worldwide in the last three months of 2015. Games categorized as "action & adventure" proved most poular in that period, followed by "puzzle and trivia" games (see chart below). 

However, the pair switched places when it came time for games to be ranked by share of all in-app purchases in the games category, with "puzzle & trivia" games accounted for roughly 38 percent of all IAPs while "action & adventure" games accounted for 15 percent of IAPs in the category during the 2015 holiday quarter. In that period, the Games category accounted for roughly 85 percent of all in-app purchases made through the Windows Store.

Incidentally, Microsoft reports the Windows Store saw twice as many paid transactions, year-over-year, by PC and tablet users in the last quarter of 2015. And while Windows 10 has been out since last summer, devices running some version of Windows 8 still account for the majority of Windows Store downloads.

One last little tidbit: Microsoft quantifies "racing & flying" games as a category with "good opportunity" for game developers because in the last three months of last year it was the category of Windows Store games with the highest download volume relative to inventory.

Put simply, Microsoft reports that "racing & flying" games have the most downloads per game available, suggesting there may be some pent-up demand among Windows Store customers for games in that specific category.

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