Mobile Gamers Who Pay Increases In U.S.

Newzoo announced that the number of mobile gamers in the U.S. has grown from 75 million to 101 million, of which 69 percent plays on smartphones and 21 percent on tablets. Most importantly, the number of paying players has grown 35 percent to 37 million Americans, or 36 percent of all mobile gamers.

The National Gamers Surveys that involved 17,000 respondents, in combination with monthly iOS and Android game revenue and download data of the top 200 grossing games, leads the company to to believe that mobile gaming is set for another year of double-digit revenue growth in the U.S.

Newzoo says that of all American mobile gamers, 19 million play on an iPhone, or 28 percent of all smartphone gamers, while an additional 18 million plays games on an iPod Touch. In the tablet gaming space, the iPad is dominant with a share of 60 percent, or 12.7 million Americans.

Additionally, Apple has the strongest position when it comes to revenue; in March 2012, all iOS devices combined earned 84 percent of mobile revenues generated by the top 200 grossing games in the three stores combined: iPad, iPhone/iPod App Store and Google PlayStore. For both Android and iOS devices, the majority of money is not spent on downloading games but within the games: 91 percent for both Android and iOS games.

“When analyzing Apple’s successful monetization, there is one dominant factor outside of differences in audience demographics and preferences: Apple requires users to connect their credit card information directly to their account, thus creating a seamless purchase experience,” said Newzoo’s CEO Peter Warman. “I can hardly imagine any other company in the world that would be able to get away with this, including Google and Microsoft. Facebook can come a long way, but Amazon clearly has the best chance and is proving this as we speak.”

Americans have overwhelmingly switched to playing games on smartphones and tablets, with only 19 percent still using a regular phone for playing games, while 34 percent still using their regular phone to play in France. Both the U.S. and the U.K. have a similar share of mobile gamers who use a smartphone to play games (69 percent and 75 percent respectively), but in the U.S., Android takes 16 percent of the revenues, whereas in the U.K. this figure is the lowest of all countries involved at only 6 percent, which can be explained by the huge uptake of Kindle Fires in the U.S. with 17.4 million active users.

“The Kindle Fire, being the runner-up tablet in the US only 3 months after launch, has single-handedly doubled Android’s share of revenues in the U.S. compared to European countries,” adds Warman on Amazon and its Kindle Fire. “It will do the same in the UK soon after launch, but the rest of Europe might be a different story. Now that we have monthly revenue insight into game revenues across both Apple’s App Stores as well as Google PlayStore we will soon be able to report on this. And after that, there is Mac versus PC apps, and then finally . . . the battle for the TV. Exciting times.”

Core gamers are increasingly playing smartphones with 62 percent of core console and PC gamers in the U.S. also playing games on smartphones or tablets. The combination of casual gameplay and immersive experience is increasingly appealing to lapsed gamers, a sort of “mid-core” market.

Angry Birds Space Fastest Growing Mobile Title Ever

Rovio has announced that Angry Birds Space saw 50 million downloads within 35 days. This makes the game the fastest growing mobile title yet, breaking Rovio’s own internal records.

“We extend our deepest gratitude to all fans of Angry Birds everywhere. While numbers like this certainly say something about the popularity of Angry Birds, for us the main goal is to keep creating fun new experiences that everybody can enjoy! We just launched the first free update for Angry Birds Space, with plenty more surprises in stock,” said Rovio. “If you haven’t checked it out yet, Angry Birds Space is available for iOS, Android, PC, and Mac, and we just released 10 new levels for iOS and Android. Keep popping those pigs!”

Source: Rovio

Battlestar Galactica Online Near 10 Million Registered Players

Bigpoint revealed that Battlestar Galactica Online is close to reaching the 10 million registered players mark, with items being offered to players who log-in this week to celebrate the milestone. Bigpoint estimates the game, which is offered in over 25 different languages via more than 1,000 media partners, has over 25,000 new registrations a day.

“We are thrilled with the tremendous growth of BSGO and how the game has performed over the past year,” said Heiko Hubertz, Founder and CEO, Bigpoint. “BSGO is a breakthrough title that has empowered us to change perceptions of the kind of gaming experience that can be delivered through a web browser. We’re excited to move forward with this momentum, celebrate our achievements, and reward all of our players in the community who helped us get to this point.”

GREE Signs CrowdStar And IWin For Mobile Platform

GREE has announced that they have signed up CrowdStar and iWin to create games for the upcoming GREE Platform. CrowdStar will launch the freemium title based on their popular Top Girl franchise, while iWin will launch their first two social mobile titles exclusively on the platform, based upon the popular TV game shows Deal or No Deal and 1 vs. 100.

“We believe that the future of gaming is on mobile and that the industry needs both strong high quality social titles and a strong global platform to meet the needs of players and developers alike,” said Peter Relan, CEO of CrowdStar. “GREE and CrowdStar share the same idea that without social connections and a way for people to discover and interact in and around games, the industry will stall.”

“As casual gamers’ play time shifts to mobile devices, iWin’s goal is to make our content accessible where gamers are playing,” said CJ Wolf, VP of Publishing of iWin. “Our game show games are inherently social so iWin was seeking a partner that could provide a large social footprint on mobile and GREE was the best choice given their global community.

“GREE’s commitment to 3rd party developers makes them the perfect partner to ensure we take our games to the next level” Wolf added. “Leveraging GREE’s social layer, we can confidently focus on high-quality content while making sure we implement strong social features and reach audiences around the world.”

“GREE is building a social mobile gaming ecosystem that offers the best features and experiences. CrowdStar’s and iWin’s commitment to the mobile games market and focus on high quality social games makes them the ideal partner for us,” added Eros Resmini, SVP of Developer Relations and Marketing, GREE International Inc. “We have huge respect for what they have achieved in the marketplace, and are excited to work with them to bring great games to users around the world.”

Shadowrun Kickstarter Funded At Nearly $2 Million

Harebrained Schemes has successfully funded their Shadowrun Kickstarter with $1,895,772, exceeding the initial $400,000 goal. This means that the game will not only come to iOS, Android and PC but also to Mac and Linux as well.

To Shadowrun creator Jordan Weisman, pitching a new game in the franchise has been a non-starter for a long time with publishers. “We went to Microsoft and tried to buy back the property. I wasn’t successful, but I did get a license,” he said. “So I started thinking about a very large-scale implementation of Shadowrun. And I pitched that to a number of publishers and was not successful. When we formed Harebrained Schemes, we had some conversations about smaller scale versions of it, but there were still no takers. I had pretty much lost hope of being able to do the kind of role-playing game I wanted to do.”

After being convinced to do the Kickstarter route, he said the response was “very overwhelming. Enormously, emotionally overwhelming, and not just the money, but as I said in the videos, it was people’s stories that they were posting, and they were really touching. This (game) was 23 years ago, and to see how much of it is left in people’s hearts and minds – to see that kind of response made an old man feel pretty good.”

Source: Wired