2015 is the year that everyone expects mobile gaming to overtake console gaming in terms of gross revenue. The mobile gaming revolution is upon us, and that’s hardly surprising.
Have you been on public transport recently? Note the number of people swiping pieces of candy into lines or destroying their enemies (Paul from down the road) in virtual warfare.
It’s estimated that around 64% of American adults own a smartphone -meaning there’s over 200 million potential customers for mobile game developers in the United States alone – and the sale of video game consoles has declined rapidly over the last few years.
On top of that, new games for a Ps4 or Xbox One still roll out at around $50-60, whereas the majority of successful mobile games are freemium i.e. free to download, with the option to pay for premium extras during gameplay.
Mobile gaming is piggybacking the rapid adoption of smartphone use, and the big console manufacturers can’t compete, at least, not on price.
So what’s the battle like for supremacy of the mobile gaming revolution? Well there’s something of a positive feedback loop being created by the top publishers and developers.
The massive income of the top developers such as Supercell ($1.7bn in 2014), who have published the wildly popular Clash of Clans and Boom Beach, allows the developers to pay for expensive advertising and allows them to pull even further ahead of their competition.
Similarly, publishers Zynga (Farmville) and King (Candy Crush), can re-invest their own astronomical earnings into advertising for themselves, squeezing out the competition, and making it more and more likely that the next big mobile games will come from the existing top publishers.
Given that the smartphone platform is only set to increase in number year on year, the top 10 are set to get a whole lot richer.
So who’s on the list at the moment leading the mobile gaming revolution? Find out below: (List accurate as of May 2015 – ranked by dollars of income per day):
Game of War – $1,533,933
Featuring some wildly addictive gameplay and popular advertising – including a scantily clad Kate Upton- Game of War brings home a staggering $1.5m a day.
Clash of Clans – $1,072,433
Supercell complete a 1-2 on the list with Clash of Clans. Another example of how lucrative the mobile gaming industry is, Supercell paid $9 million to feature their Liam Neeson Superbowl commercial.
Candy Crush Saga – $915,279
Who knew aligning different types of hard candy could be so addictive? And profitable. King’s creation has approximately 3.5 million daily users and spawned a popular sequel:
Candy Crush Soda Saga – $372,203
More of the same from King … but with soda bottles. Hopefully there’s a decent dental plan in place for King’s employees.
Boom Beach – $293,734
Supercell round out the top 5 with Boom Beach with another strategy game with a quirky and likeable advertising campaign. The duopoly of Supercell and King rake in more than 4 times their next 5 rivals.
DoubleDown Casino – $246,418
DoubleDown Interactive are the first of 4 publishers on this list that allows users to pay for game chips, without any possibility of real-life payout because of the grey area prohibiting online gambling in the US.
Big Fish Casino – $206,592
In truth, Casinos are not true competitors in the mobile gaming revolution. To rival King or Supercell, the laws prohibiting online gambling the US would probably have to be lifted.
Slotomania – $174,256
Have a guess what Slotomania specialize in. Anybody? More of the same from Slotomania. Apparently there’s a big market for aligning shapes on your phone. It certainly works for Candy Crush.
Marvel Contest of Champions – $149,413
The popularity of The Avengers franchise isn’t limited to the comic book heroes hitting the big screen, Kabam have published a fighting game with Role-Playing elements for maximum engagement.
GSN Casino – $132,059
GSN Casino is relatively similar to its Casino app rivals. It’s interesting that many casino games remain incredibly popular in app form even though the potential for a reward is limited to virtual money.
The mobile gaming revolution is a lucrative business, and as the platform expands, so will the potential for game developers to make money from it.
It’ll be interesting to see how phone manufactures gear their future models to the platform as the mobile gaming revolution rolls on.
Enough time has passed from the spectacular failure of the Nokia N-gage surely.