SuperData released a new report on the US digital games market. Here are the interesting points:

  • There are 287 Million Mobile Active Gamers in the U.S.
  • $1.2 Billion in U.S. digital game sales for December 2014
  • 11% Year over on year growth in December 2014, compared to December 2013
  • 17% Growth in mobile digital revenues
  • 10% Increase in console digital sales
  • 10% Decrease in social game revenues
  • Average spend on PS4 was $11.09, down from $20 in November 2014
  • Average spend on Xbox One was $6.88, down from $21 in November 2014
  • Average spend on Steam was $2.35, down from $8 in November 2014

Sony recently put out more numbers on the success of the PlayStation 4 in the market so far. There are:

  • 4.2 million PlayStation 4’s were sold in 2013
  • 2 Million PlayStation Plus Accounts
  • 150 Million PlayStation Network Accounts

The high attach rate – almost 50 percent is an excellent sign of future growth for PlayStation Plus. The Instant Game Collection and ongoing free games match the offering of the Xbox Live Gold program from Microsoft. Since this generation is expensive and there are few titles available at launch, it’s going to be important for Sony to continue to offer great content on a regular basis digitally. I expect the product line-up to increase significantly in Q3-Q4 as more developers are getting development kits and middleware meets the demands of the market.

Interesting announcements from EA and Valve related to digital distribution today:

  • Steam has 75 Million users
  • Origin has 50 Million users
  • Uplay had 50 Million users (as of February 2013)

It’s important to note that in addition to PC/MAC games, EA’s Origin service and Ubisoft’s Uplay  service are also tied into their console and mobile titles,  so their 50 million user totals are not just for PC/MAC.

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.