Futuresource Consulting released a report recently estimating that the mobile games market is on track to reach roughly $10 billion worldwide by 2014. The Apple Store is almost 30 percent of all mobile games and generates $1.7 billion globally in game sales.
“There is no doubt that paid-for apps games are leading the gaming charge,” says Patrik Pfandler, Lead Mobile Analyst at Futuresource, “and our forecasts show apps-based gaming will account for more than 95 percent of total mobile gaming revenues by 2014 that s despite the glut of free apps games out there.”
The report also says that smartphone ownership should grow by 50 percent in 2010 to 270 million worldwide. While the App Store currently has the best selection of apps, Android is quickly becoming more popular and currently represents 10 percent of the market.
“The growth of in-apps payments is a key ingredient in the commercial success of apps gaming. In the short term we’ll see the rise of the freemium business model, where the game is downloaded for free, but incorporates micro-transactions and virtual currencies, encouraging users to unlock additional features, new levels and premium content. In the longer run, we’re going to see ad-funded apps games start to gain more traction as well,” added Pfandler. “The accelerating uptake of smartphones has been the primary driver in apps growth, with high quality touchscreens, powerful programmable processors, improved graphics and cameras, increased storage, accelerometer and GPS all becoming standard and all making their contribution to an improved mobile gaming experience.”