25% of global mobile app revenue comes from top 10 games

1 min read

IOS money

Whenever we talk about mobile revenue, we talk about games like Clash of Clans or Candy Crush. While it may seem easy to fall back on these same few titles as the biggest source of income, it turns out that games are the biggest earners of all mobile applications, and not all games are created equal.

Gamasutra has gotten hold of a presentation given by internet business strategist Michael Wolf, who was looking into the future of tech and media. According to his research, 90% of revenue on Google Play and 74% of revenue on the iOS App Store come from games. That’s a huge market share. However, even more interesting is the way that revenue is not so evenly spread:

[…] the top 20 Google Play developers (of both games and non-games, it seems) earn well over half of the revenue the store generates; they make an average of $265 million per developer, while the low-end generates an average of $8,000 per developer. The numbers are better on iOS, but the discrepancy is still high.

Mobile game money

We already knew that making a successful mobile game was sort of like winning the lottery – there is no guarantee and it’s almost entirely up to chance. However, seeing the disparity is rather jarring – there are plenty of games out there that offer something new, interesting or intriguing on mobile. But those titles probably won’t make much cash, with the majority of money going to the top 10 games. No wonder so many formerly lucrative mobile game studios are closing their doors – if you don’t have the most popular game, you probably can’t afford to pay your staff.

Mobile gaming is still a huge market, raking in a ridiculous sum of cash. It’s definitely not going anywhere anytime soon, but it will be interesting to see how studios and publishers change their approach in order to stay profitable when competition is this fierce.

Last Updated: October 22, 2015

Zoe Hawkins

Wielding my lasso of truth, I am the combination of nerd passion and grammar nazi. I delve into all things awesome and geek-tastic. I believe people should stop defining themselves and just enjoy playing games, so let's get on with it!

  • oVg

    I remember the good old days when Snakes was FREE 😛

    • HairyEwok

      That was thé selling point for a nokia, and also making your own tunes.

      • oVg

        Not allowed to do SHIT anymore. They even banned iTunes sharing at work because it was classified as piracy. What a joke.

        I played Fat Princess. It was good but then they throw you behind a progress bar. I went fcuk you and decided to surf the internet instead.

        Now I understand why those Dungeon Keeper fans blew their tops.

        Anyway, I know that the people who play mobile phone games have never logged onto a gaming site once in their lives. It has nothing to do with my hobby. Phone games are like those bored staff members who play Minesweeper at work. A trapped audience.

  • Grand Admiral Chief
    • oVg

      My sentiments exactly.

  • Hammersteyn

    Good, the harder it is to make cash the better

  • GooseZA

    Images not displaying for anyone else?

  • Brady miaau

    An Estate Agent friend (head of a large company for an entire city) said once that 80% of the sales and money is made by about 20% of the Estate Agents.

    I seem to hear that sort of the thing from all over, other industries as well.

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