Depending on what crowd you run in, calling a smartphone or tablet a “gaming” device will get you widely varied reactions. Tell a group of hardcore gamers that you use your iPhone for “gaming,” and you’re likely to get flat stares if you’re very lucky, derision and mockery if you’re not. If, on the other hand, you said it to executives at Nintendo, you might get a different reaction. The rise of gaming on devices like the iPhone has put a serious dent in sales of Nintendo’s 3DS.
But whether gamers and console makers like it or not, smartphone and tablet gaming is an extremely lucrative market. Some of the most popular apps in the history of the iOS App Store have been games. Of the top grossing apps in the iOS App Store, 21 are games. Of the top 25 grossing Android Apps on Google Play, 24 are games. Smartphone and tablet games are worth staggering amounts of money.
But that raises a question: which platform is more lucrative. That is, who pays more for their games: iPhone users, or Android users? A new study by Newzoo which appeared today in Forbes answers that very question. It turns out that iOS gamers spend more than five times as much on their games as Android gamers. The iOS platform with its combined 30.7 million mobile gamers across three devices (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch) took in 84% of the revenues generated by mobile gaming in March.
Interestingly, the vast majority of the mobile gaming revenue does not come from the purchase of the games themselves. For both platforms, in-app purchases accounted for 91% – yes, ninety-one percent – of gaming revenues (not counting mobile ads). The study found that those patterns tend to hold – though with rather less staggering majorities – in various countries around the world.
What do you think? Do you use your smartphone or tablet for gaming? Does mobile gaming really count as “gaming”? Let us know in the comments.