New research from Newzoo and Distimo confirm what most knew already: games represent the largest single app-category on Apple App Stores, and account for half of the downloads of both free and paid Apps. According to the research more than five million games a day were downloaded in the US and six European territories combined during March 2011. Around 63 million iOS gamers in seven countries downloaded an average of 2.5 games per month.
In-game purchases in free and paid games amounted to more than 40 percent of total money spent. Newzoo expects in-game purchases to surpass upfront payments for games in the second half of 2011.
Around 88 percent of downloaded top 300 iOS games are now offered for free, with in-game purchases (both free and paid games) generating approximately two-fifth of total revenues. In-game spending on free games grossed 40 percent of the total revenues for iPhone/iPod Touch and 32 percent for iPad. The data also shows the importance of apps getting exposure on the app charts. Apps ranked in the top 25 see five to six times more downloads than games ranked 26 to 50.
The National Gamers Survey, conducted in March (at around the time the iPad 2 launched in Europe) found that there are now more than 60 million iOS gamers in the US and key European countries. Between six and seven percent of the online population has an iPhone in the US, UK, France and Germany, while Spain, The Netherlands and Belgium trail with three to four percent. The share of iPhone owners who play iOS games is between 50 and 75 percent. Nearly 15 million Americans who play games on mobile phones or tablets actively use an iPad, and in European countries this total is seven million. The iPad is ahead of the PlayStation Portable in terms of the total number of people playing games on a specific device.
The research is part of a new partnership between international games market research firm Newzoo and app store analytics company Distimo. The two firms will work together to provide monthly data on game sales and downloads across all Apple App Stores. The countries covered include the US, UK, Germany, France, Spain, the Netherlands and Belgium.