India is clearly the next untapped market for games. I’ve heard a lot of interesting figures lately, but the market is dominated in the mobile space by Android at around 73 percent of the addressable market. I’ve also heard that India is also more accustomed to subscription based games and micro-transactions are something they are getting more comfortable with, so expect micro-transaction models to grow. Other interesting data includes:

  • The market for Digital Games in India is $853.9 Million in 2015
  • Mobile is 49 percent of the market, or around $416 Million today
  • Mobile is growing at a 64 percent growth rate year-over-year
  • By 2015, the mobile market for games in India is expected to be around $832 Million
  • There are approximately 185 Million mobile gamers in India in 2015
  • ARPPU in India for mobile games in October 2015 was $13.07 with a 1.53 percent conversion rate from player to payer
  • Digital console is 2.7% of the market today
  • MMO games are 28 percent of the market, with Free-to-Play MMO games comprising 21 percent of the total market
  • Cost-per-install in India is $0.74 for Android
  • Cost-per-install in India is $1.26 for iOS

According to the new “Mobile Gaming Social Motivations” study on U.S. mobile gamers:

  • U.S. mobile gamers are typically playing more than two games per month, and spending an average of $4.58 each per month
  • Males spend $5.68 per month on average
  • Women spend $3.49 per month on average
  • Super Whales, or those that spend over $50 per month on games, spend on average about $108 per month
  • This group only constitutes 1% of the sample size, but Super Whales contribute nearly 29% to the mobile gaming revenue
  • Male U.S. mobile gamers spend almost twice as much on games monthly than female mobile gamers
  • Whales drive the bulk of revenues – 10% of players considered “High Spenders” (spending over $10 per month) make up 66 percent of the revenue from mobile gaming
  • Those playing 10 hours per week spent over 3X  the average spender in primarily strategy, combat, RPG, action and casino games
  • Mobile gamers who play primarily on iOS devices tend to spend more than their Android counterparts; however, the greatest spending and game downloading comes from mobile gamers who play on both platforms

To download the full “Mobile Gaming Social Motivations” study, goto: files.unity3d.com/everyplay/Mobile_Gaming_Social_Motivations.zip

Thanks to Niko Partners for the translation of the Gamelook.com article that stated:

  • 60-80% of players will abandon a F2P mobile game after one minute if they don’t like the gameplay or design. Here are the top reasons for abandonment:
  • 70 Percent – Monetization appears too quickly, or is overwhelming
  • 45 Percent – Difficulty/output balance
  • 34 Percent – Resources consumed too fast
  • 31 Percent – Poor initial experience
  • 28 Percent – Poor or no reward system

 

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:

CCSE4KE4K UK

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
       
160.5      

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.

Country R CPI AR CPI AG CPI
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 – http://www.appbrain.com/stats/ (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 Games148Apps.bizhttp://148apps.biz/app-store-metrics/ (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.

 

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

In an article on GamesBeat, information was given as to how GREE values mobile installs when determining what to spend on user acquisition.

*In Japan, GREE’s mobile install Lifetime Value (LTV) is around $15
*In the U.S.A., a mobile install is valued between $2-$5
*GREE says they have a 50 percent organic install rate and they tune the amount they are willing to spend on an install accordingly.
*The average install they are paying is in the $2 range according to the article.