Revenues from in-game purchases will surpass the pay-per-download model as the main way of monetizing mobile games by 2013, according to a new report by Juniper Research.
With Apple’s in-app billing mechanism showing the way forward, total end-user revenues will surpass $11 billion annually by 2015, nearly double what they were in 2009 ($6bn).
An increasing number of games are being offered free at the point of purchase, in order to garner attention, with in-game purchases – which include extra gaming levels or game play items – being utilized by developers and publishers to monetize the game once the user has been given a taste of what the game has to offer. However, discoverability remains a problem for developers and publishers on some app stores, given that many now contain 100,000s of applications, the majority of which are mobile games.
“Discoverability can be a ‘chicken and egg’ problem: high downloads lead to prominence, but achieving a high number of downloads is largely dependent on already being prominent,” said Daniel Ashdown, author of the Juniper report.
“Consequently, a small minority of games achieve very high downloads, whilst the vast majority achieve very small download figures.”