Juniper Research has calculated that revenue from in-game purchases by mobile phone users will overtake the pay-per-download pricing model for mobile games by 2013. Total end-user revenue is expected to exceed $11 billion (£7 billion) per year by 2015, nearly double the $6 billion figure from 2009.
The company’s Mobile Games report says an increasing number of games are being offered free, with the option of buying extra levels or gameplay items being used to monetise the game. However, with some app stores containing hundreds of thousands of applications, the majority of which are mobile games, discoverability is an issue.
Daniel Ashdown, the report’s author, said “Discoverability can be a ‘chicken and egg’ problem: high downloads lead to prominence, but achieving a high number of downloads is largely dependent on already being prominent. Consequently, a small minority of games achieve very high downloads, whilst the vast majority achieve very small download figures.”
[Mobile Games whitepaper; Mobile Games video whitepaper]