Android gaming on the rise thanks to freemium games

December 17, 2013
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Google Play Games 5

Android is starting to catch up to iOS in terms of mobile gaming, though it isn’t quite there yet.

A recent report from app analytics platform Distimo shows that over the past year, revenue from Android games increased dramatically, though not quite meeting the revenue generated by that of their iOS counterparts. In November 2013, the top 200 Android games grossed $12 million per day, which is an insanely high number. It’s especially insane considering that top Android games only grossed $3.5 million a day in November 2012, just one year ago.

Android still has to play catch up to Apple’s iOS, though. In November 2013 the top 200 iOS apps grossed $18 million per day, compared to $15 million per day the same month last year. The good news for Android fans looking for something to hang over their Apple-loving friends is that Android games saw a huge percentage increase in revenue over iOS.

Distimo Revenue Distribution Country Apps Platform Globally 2013

Most of that huge growth didn’t come from the U.S., though. Most of the growth came from Japan and South Korea, two of the fastest-growing markets for mobile apps and games. Korean and Japanese gamers actually spent more money on Android games than iPhone and iPad games according to the study. As an example of how fast they’re growing, revenue from South Korea increased by a massive 759 percent over the course of just one year. Again, absolutely insane.

Google Play Share of Revenue Business Modell Free vs paid 2013

If there’s any bad news from the report it’s that freemium apps or free-to-play apps completely dominate both platforms. They make up 92 percent of all revenue on iOS, and 98 percent of revenue on Android according to Distimo. We’d love to think the revenue all comes from Android gamers playing Ridiculous Fishing and Badland, or even paying Square Enix $16 for a remake of an old Final Fantasy. But the reality is most of that money is from people who just really want to get through a level of Candy Crush Saga.

It’d be great if the increased revenue would bring more of the great iOS games or more great original games to Android, but it seems that most of the money on both platforms lies in casual games that are built to make money.

Will free to play games supported by in-app-purchasing continue to dominate? Do you agree with the practice? What do you think of the quality of gaming on Android?

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