When a mobile game becomes successful enough to wind up in mainstream culture–like, for example, Angry Birds, Where’s My Water, or Tiny Wings–we tend to automatically think, ‘Wow, the people who make those games must be zillionaires!’ Granted, neither Rovio nor Disney are currently banging an empty tin can against a wall, but a recent study suggests that for many apps, hype does not necessarily equal profits.
App Annie, an analytical company that tracks and gathers data from app sales, performed the study over a period of 12 months on Apple’s App Store. The study revealed that ‘blockbuster’ iOS games like Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja aren’t necessarily bringing in more money than games that are slowly but steadily bringing in money over the long term despite never cracking the App Store’s top 25 rankings.
Fruit Ninja is popular, but on the App Store, popularity doesn’t automatically translate into riches.
The study also concluded that one in four apps are deleted after one use, and that the best-performing ‘long term’ game made 83% more than the best ‘short term’ game. Moreover, action games are good for making a quick buck, whereas strategy games are a very popular long term offering.
App Annie’s study is full of interesting data, and it’s available in its entirety on the App Annie website. If you’re involved in iOS game development, feel free to chime in with your thoughts about the findings.