Category Archives: Apple

SuperDataResearch put out some recent numbers about the digital collectible card game market. Here’s the data:

The audience and revenue numbers are:

  • 53 Million Monthly Active Users (MAU) playing collectible card games ($4.1 Billion in revenue)
  • $2.8 Billion of the revenue is for physical card games (68.3 percent) and $1.3 Billion is related to digital collectible card games (31.7 percent)
  • 18 Million MAU playing collectible card games in the U.S. (1.4 Billion in revenue)
  • 2.5 Million MAU in Germany ($237 Million in revenue)
  • 2.3 Million MAU in the U.K. ($180 Million in revenue)
  • 2 Million in France ($158 Million in revenue
  • 1.8 Million in Russia ($55 Million in revenue)
  • 1.6 Million in Italy ($166 Million in revenue)
  • 1.6 Million in Spain ($154 Million in revenue)
  • 900 Thousand in Poland ($39 Million in revenue)

NOTE: Collectible card games are huge in Japan, however SuperData Research didn’t include any info for the country.

Here are a couple of other bits:

  • 12 Percent of digital collectible card game players convert to paying users in the U.S.
  • Average revenue per paying player in the U.S. is $27, again for digital collectible card games

I was looking for some data on Cost Per Install (CPI) for games in Japan and a friend of mine who runs a large studio there sent me this link, a blog post by InMobi that I missed in January. It basically sets out the relative cost of mobile installs worldwide. While it isn’t exclusive to games, we can use it to decipher regional costs. To get started, I went over to one of my favorite CPI sites, MobPartner, to check out their scrolling list of live CPI transactions. If you like to watch CPI bidding, it’s the best place to watch the action. Here are a couple pics to illustrate the CPIs today:


As you can see, Empire: Four Kingdoms is buying a lot of installs and they are ranging in the U.S. between $1.90 and $2.40 and hitting $3.05 in the U.K. I would guess the higher priced acquisition in the U.S. is on a better performing network, or more proven ad channel that provides players that either convert a bit higher, or have a higher Lifetime Value (LTV). You need to balance cost with volume in any acquisition campaign, but that’s probably obvious.

So now let’s dig into the InMobi data. We know that their numbers are not just games, so we need to create a reference point.

U.K. 174 $3.31 3.05
U.S. 100 $1.90 $1.75

The 174 is a number from InMobi on the relative cost per install in the U.K. related to the U.S. Since we know what Goodgame Studios is paying for their users we know the numbers in bold to be true. The InMobi numbers don’t quite match up yet. The difference is 160.5 instead of 174, which is roughly 92.2 percent of the difference. I broke down the numbers with the Relative CPI (R CPI), the Adjusted Relative CPI (AR CPI) and came up with the Actual Game CPI (AG CPI) below. It looks about right to me in terms of acquisition costs. I hope it’s helpful for you too.

U.K. 174 160  $  3.05
Australia 127 117  $  2.22
U.S. 100 92  $  1.90
New Zealand 95 88  $  1.66
Malaysia 87 80  $  1.52
South Korea 84 77  $  1.47
Vietnam 84 77  $  1.47
Japan 81 75  $  1.42
Hong Kong 77 71  $  1.35
France 75 69  $  1.31
Singapore 71 65  $  1.24
China 60 55  $  1.05
Germany 56 52  $  0.98
India 40 37  $  0.70




A lot of people ask me how I keep up on so many markets and so many apps around the world. The short inspirational answer is I read a lot because I’m genuinely interested in emerging markets, new gameplay systems and culturally influenced IP from around the world. If you love what you do, you want to do as much of it as possible. So I figured I would start giving out some of the helpful resources that I read regularly to keep up on all things. Maybe it will inspire some people to become sherpas on the game industry as well.

Since this is the first post of this kind and I’m planning on giving away the farm, here are two great sites that are not referenced enough, and should actually cost money to visit for the info they provide:

  • Number of Android AppsAppbrain (as of this date, 1,132,053 Apps in the Android marketplace). Also check out this link to see the average price of paid apps and ratings of apps by category. It’s a phenomenal source of info.
  •  Number of iOS - (as of this date, 194,512 active games in the market and 2,236 so far this month). Jeff Scott is a great source of info on the mobile games market. I’m pretty surprised he isn’t leading R&D at Zynga making a Meg yet. Where else could you find out that the average cost of a game on iOS right now is $0.75.

More posts to come.


Newzoo put out a new report on the U.S. market for games.

  • There are 170 Million gamers in the U.S.
  • $6.4bn or 31% can be attributed to retail sales of new boxed games
  • 4% of the total market consists of sales of pre-owned games
  • $13.3 Billion (65%)  is generated digitally through gaming on consoles, PCs, smartphones and tablets.
  • 60% of U.S. gamers spend money on games
  • The average monthly spend per U.S. gamer is $16.46
  • There are 104 million paying gamers in the US across all market segments

According to Spil Games 2013 Online Gaming Report:

  •  1.2 billion people play games around the world
  • 17% of all people on Earth are gamers
  • The global games market is currently $70.4 billion and is expected to
  • grow at 6% a year
  • 700 million people play games online
  • The audience is 54% male/46% female
  • The US mobile gaming audience will reach 162.4 million people by 2015

The report can be downloaded here.

According to SuperDataResearch:

  • In 2012, the cost per install on iOS increased 22% from the beginning to the end of the year (around $2)
  • The average conversion rate (from a non-spending to a spending user) in October was 4.68%
  • The average revenue per paying user for mobile in the US is $21.45
  • CPI is expected to be between $7-$8 this holiday season

All this is to say that acquisition costs are now greater than the LTV (Lifetime Value) of the acquired user. To combat this, mobile game developers should look more deeply at cross-promotional opportunities with other developers of similar titles. Exploring acquisition from a rev share perspective should be more cost effective than buying them in the open market and in our experience, the engagement is higher with users acquired through cross-promotions.

The Finnish Game Industry is growing at a 39.5 percent growth rate because of some amazing game developers (SuperCell, Rovio, Remedy, (Among others)).

Below is an updated presentation on the market in Finland as well as an outline of opportunities in Finland for anyone looking to start an office there. Of particular note (although not in this presentation) is how Ilkka Paananen and the SuperCell team have deliberately chosen to ensure Finland receives the taxes it is due by not setting up operations in Ireland, the Netherlands Antilles and other tax havens, in order to pay what they owe their country. I applaud this approach to industry development and hope it serves as an example to other companies and countries on how a stand-up company deals with success and helps to build both an ecosystem and industry within a country.

My opinion is that with massive profits and mainstream appeal for many of its games, the Finnish game industry is setup in a way to pay for the development of games that can reach the global audience, but also ensure the industry’s ongoing success. It’s morally righteous and reverent to the local university system (as well as previous commercial entities such as Nokia) which have helped build it, and it appreciates the fact that the universities will continue to be a major part of its growth in the future.

In a world that is often short-sighted, Finland is a leader and their approach is a brilliant example in the post-Montreal economic development era.

Our friend Moacyr Alves, president of ACIGAMES (the major games association in Brazil) sent us a nice presentation on the current Brazilian Games Market. Here are some of the key data points:

  • 85 Percent of Brazilian gamers play on PC
  • 73 Percent of Brazilian gamers play on smartphones
  • 66 Percent of Brazilian gamers play console games
  • 31 Percent of Brazilian gamers play on tablets
  • Action and adventure games are the most popular genre among men (23 percent) and women (20 percent)
  • 70 Percent of smartphones and 71 percent of tablets are Android OS
  • 6 percent of smartphones and 18 percent of tablets are iOS
  • 9 percent of smartphones and 7 percent of tablets are Windows

eMarketer released new info on the U.S. tablet market for games:

  • Three-quarters of tablet users play games regularly
  • eMarketer estimates that between 2013 and 2017, the number of tablet gamers will rise from 96.1 million to 143.0 million


In a recent post on TechCrunch, Chartboost dropped some info and numbers that should be of interest to mobile game developers:

  • Direct deals between game development studios perform better than mobile advertising campaigns
  • The click-through rate on a direct deal between two different developers is about 10.7 percent, compared to 8.1 percent on an ad network
  • Install rates are 3.9 percent on direct deals versus 2.1 percent on ad networks
  • If a developer cross-promotes their own titles to existing players, the click-through rate is 12.7 percent