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Dec 15, 2011 | 3 minute read

5 Fascinating Mobile Gaming Facts

written by Amanda Dhalla

The widespread adoption of iOS and Android devices has led to massive changes in the retail portable game category. With smartphone and tablet sales on the rise, game app downloads hugely popular, and cloud gaming poised to take off, the future of mobile gaming looks very rosy indeed.

Here are a few entertaining facts and figures to celebrate the kick-off of our U.S. mobile phone gaming survey late last week. For a chance to win an Amazon Kindle Fire, complete the survey.

  1. Mobile gaming revenue will hit $1.5 billion in a couple of years.
    According to a study by market research firm Mintel, U.S. mobile phone and tablet gaming sales hit $898 million in 2010, doubling 2005 figures.Both Mintel and eMarketer are forecasting revenues to top $1.5 billion by 2014-15.
  2. Angry Birds racks up 1.825 billion hours of game time each month year.First released in December 2009, Rovio's Angry Birds games have led to the company being valued at over $1 billion, according to CMO Peter Vesterbacka.As of November, fans have played 266 billion levels of the game, shot 400 billion birds and collected 44 billion stars. In fact, according to Rovio, people play Angry Birds for a combined 1.825 billion hours per month year.With a board game, plush toys, socks, ties, phone cases, a cookbook, and very likely an animated series, Angry Birds are taking over the world.Angry Birds merchandise
  3. Free-to-play games make up 65% of App Store game revenue.Mobile analytics company Flurry compared the revenue generated by freemium games vs. premium ones among the top 100 grossing games in January and June. Freemium means free-to-play, where the game is given away but consumers can buy virtual goods inside the game app. Premium means charging for the download (e.g., $0.99). In January, free games represented 39% of Apple App Store games revenue, but that number had risen to 65% by June.Taking a quick peek at my iPhone today, 4 out of the top 5 titles in the App Store top grossing category are freemium games, and 21 of the top grossing 25 are games.Top grossing iPhone apps (Canada)
  4. Gamers spend $14 per transaction on average in freemium games.Flurry also found that only about 3% of consumers spend money in freemium mobile games. However, when gamers do spend they shell out on average $14 per transaction on in-app purchases. Although this figure seems high, over 5% of all purchases are for amounts larger than $50, rivaling the amount paid for console and PC games.
  5.  Alec Baldwin isn't the only one playing mobile games with friends.The success of multiplayer-only games, such as Zynga's Words With Friends, (currently comfortably sitting in both the Top Free and Paid iPhone charts) indicates major consumer interest in mobile gaming with others. Just ask Alec Baldwin who was allegedly kicked off a plane last week after being confronted by a flight attendant for playing the addictive Scrabble-like game.We're now seeing the industry start to introduce more advanced social features to match consumer interest. For example, Apple's Game Center social gaming platform, launched in late 2010, has come into its own this year with support for achievement points, access to friends of friends, and custom profile photos.Alec Baldwin on SNL

Interested in more mobile gaming stats?

Last Friday we kicked off our U.S. mobile phone gaming survey. For a chance to win an Amazon Kindle Fire, all you need to do is complete the survey located here.

It's just over a dozen questions long and covers a few gaming-related topics. When we're done, we'll use the data to write a report about the state of mobile gaming and one of you will win a Kindle Fire!