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.

According to Digital TV Research, one quarter of all TVs will be connected by 2018.

  • That’s 759 million TVs connected to the internet around the world by 2018
  • By the end of 2013, there will be 307 million connected TVs globally
  • The market share growth is increasing rapidly from 5.1% (115 million Tvs) to 12.4% in 2013 and 26.8% in 2018 Connected TVs were at a 5.1% share in 2010 — some 115 million TV sets.
  • Games consoles connected to the internet will rise to 176 million by 2018, twice that of 2012
  • Smart TVs will be 34% of the 2018 total (259 million) TVs
  • The global number of connected TV sets using streaming or set-top boxes was 4 million in 2010
  • By 2018, there will be 126 million TVs connecting via streaming or set-top boxes

People often ask me about contracts with publishers and some of the things you might find in them. While the Activision-Bungie contract is not typical for most independent game studios, it still is worth reading to get familiar with some of the terms and clauses related to the development process, milestones, and obligations of both parties. I’m not sure how the LA Times originally got this, but since it’s on the Internet, I figured I would link to it so others can learn from it. http://documents.latimes.com/bungie-activision-contract/

According to NPD, 2012 digital game sales were:

  • U.S. -$5.9 billion (40 percent of total U.S. dollars spent on games, up from 28 percent in 2010)
  • U.K. – $1.7 billion
  • Germany – $1.4 billion
  • France – $1 billion.

For 2012, the U.S. breaks down as:

  • New retail games – $7.1 billion
  • Used games – $1.59 billion
  • Digital games and DLC -$2.22 billion
  • Game subscriptions – $1.05 billion
  • Social network games – $544 million
  • Game rentals -$198 million
  • Mobile games -$2.11 billion
  • Digital full games and DLC combined grew 33.9 percent for the year
  • Subscriptions grew 12.9 percent
  • Mobile games grew 10.4 percent
Here are some other random points and findings from the analyst panel at GDC 2013:
  • The UK has the highest percentage of console players
  • France prefers portable consoles
  • Germany prefers computers
  • US is most partial to gaming on mobile and tablet platforms
  • In the US, 27 percent of mobile gamers pay
  • In Europe, 40 percent of mobile gamers pay
  • U.K. average spending on mobile games is $16
  • U.S. average spending on mobile games is $9
  • In China, Mobile game spending is projected to reach$1 billion this year, and $2.8 billion in 2016.

According to SuperData:

  • The European client-based MMO market totalled $1.3 billion in 2012
  • Three publishers dominate the space, generating 70% of all revenue
  • Germany is the largest European client-based MMO market with €474 Million in 2012 sales
  • The UK  client-based MMO market was €281 Million in 2012
  • France was the third largest country in terms of client-based MMO  at €222 Million

According to NPD, and their latest report, Core Gaming 2013, within the US population ages 9 and older, almost half play video games on core gaming device.

  • Only 14 percent, or 37.5 million people, would be considered a core gamer*
  • Ages 9-17 are most likely to be a core gamer (26 percent)
  • Ages 18-34 are the next largest group of core gamers (21 percent)

Over the past year

  • 88 percent of core gamers state they purchased new physical games
  • 78 percent purchased physical used games
  • 70 percent purchased digital full games

*Core Gamers were described as playing Action, Adventure, Fighting, Flight, Massively Multi-Player, Racing, Real Time Strategy, Role-Playing, Shooter, or Sport games on a PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC or a Mac, and spending 5 hours or more per week gaming on any of these devices.

A new research firm called FADE has released estimated sales numbers for the top XBLA games of 2012. Here’s their estimates in terms of units and revenue on the XBLA platform. From personal experience, hitting the 10K, 50K and 100K sales marks on XBLA has become harder over time since the store has been redesigned multiple times. The effect has been XBLA becoming an increasingly less effective sales channel since the majority of traffic is on the platform to play movies via Netflix:

Estimated Top Ten XBLA Titles in 2012, Ordered by Gross Revenues

  • Minecraft (4J Studios) (Notchtacular) – 4,997,000 Units / $97,388,000
  • Trials Evolution (RedLynx, LTD) (owned by Ubisoft) – 1,002,000 Units / $14,298,000
  • The Walking Dead (TellTale Games) (Yeah! Dan Connors and Kevin Bruner) – 2,615,000 Units / $10,277,000
  • Counterstrike: GO (Valve) – 273,000 Units / $3,973,000
  • Castle Crashers (The Behemoth) – 252,000 Units / $3,778,000
  • Gotham City Impostors (Monolith Productions) (A Warner company) – 258,000 / $3,698,000
  • I Am Alive (Ubisoft) – 245,000 Units / $3,609,000
  • Tony Hawk’s PS HD (Robomodo) – 226,000 Units / $3,261,000
  • Alan Wake’s American Nightmare (Remedy Entertainment) (Matias and Oskari and the crew making awesome!) – 206,000 Units / $2,903,000
  • Trials HD (RedLynx, LTD) (Ubisoft SD) – 203,000 / $2,799,000