Candy Crush Saga is a fairly typical modern mobile success story. It’s free, but became the highest grossing game on the App Store, thanks to in-app purchases or “micro-transactions”.
That’s fast becoming the norm, and a new report from App Annie suggests that micro-transactions account for more than half of all mobile and portable gaming revenue (that's including Sony and Nintendo), punching advertising and prepayment right in the face.
App Annie says 2013 mobile and portable gaming revenue is on course to top $12 billion, with micro-transactions grabbing 51% of the corresponding pie chart.
Meanwhile, prepaid grabs 44% share (including digital and packaged content), which leaves a measly 5% slither for advertising.
Looking at 10 of the top grossing iOS games, an incredible nine of them are free to play, including Puzzle & Dragons (which I’m off to play now), Clash of Clans, and The Simpsons: Tapped Out.
The only exception on the list is Minecraft – Pocket Edition, which charges £4.99 up front.
Speaking of iOS, it’s still miles ahead of Android in gaming revenue, earning 2.3x that of Google Play in Q1 2013. Having said that, Google Play gaming revenue doubled from Q4 2012 to Q1 2013. Nice.
As for the most lucrative iOS gaming countries, we’re in third place, behind the US and Japan (first and second respectively). In the Android world, it goes Japan, South Korea, USA then UK.
Interested in reading more? You can grab the report for free here.