In the latest edition of their monthly report, Distimo analyzes the popularity, pricing and monetization of gaming apps available in the mobile app stores.
Among a library of data detailing the rise in the adoption of mobile gaming, including games becoming the single most popular category of application download, an interesting trend has emerged. While the average selling price in this category has declined, moving from an average of $2.01 in June 2010 to $1.44 as of June 2011, considerable revenue is being generated via in-app purchases from within otherwise free games.
The success of these freemium games is special in large part because they rely on the quality of the game and the ability for it to engage those who play it. People may download anything on a whim when it’s free, but there has to be substance and quality to persuade and encourage purchases that aren’t required. To witness this increase may mean that developers are upping the ante and focusing on quality.
The report also credits the increased popularity of virtual currencies found in games. In the first half of 2011, 35% of the most downloaded games contained treats, coins or other in-app incentives that players are having a harder time refusing.
While large game publishers like Disney and Sega can expect users to pay for their apps based on reputation and celebrity, this progression is good news for smaller, lesser-known developers. In fact, while paid games generate initial revenue upon purchase, in-app purchases have significant potential. If I am considering an in-app purchase, I’m already a captive audience and not looking to the competition. I’m not price shopping or comparing. And if you can keep me having fun, I’ll buy again and again.
So I suppose the only question that remains, is whether you have purchased your first basket of smurfberries yet?
Distimo provides monthly reports analyzing a wide variety of analytics for all of the major manufacturers and application stores.