Revenues from in-game purchases will overtake the traditional pay-per-download model as the primary source of monetizing mobile games by 2013, according to a new whitepaper from Juniper Research.
Far East & China Main Revenue Driver
Projections from “High Score for Mobile Games” indicate that global end-user mobile game revenues will almost double from $6 billion in 2009 to more than $11 billion in 2015. Juniper predicts that the Far East & China will remain the market driving the largest share of revenues, followed by Western Europe and North America in a rough tie for second place.
Revenues from the remaining combined global markets of Africa & Middle East, Asia-Pacific, Indian Subcontinent, Central & Eastern Europe, and Latin America will roughly equal the individual output of Western Europe or North America.
Platform Popularity Eases Development
Juniper analysis indicates that in the past two years, the growing consumer popularity of the iPhone/iOS/AppStore and Google Android platforms, and the increasing number of handset manufacturers building on them, has made it easier for mobile game developers to reach a wider audience while porting to fewer platforms.
In addition, Apple and Google are now charging mobile game publishers a lower proportion of the retail game price than previously, and the spread of 3G has helped reduce the cost of data services.
Technical Advances Benefit Developers
Mobile game developers are also benefiting from advances in mobile technology, according to Juniper. In general, CPU speeds, RAM capacity, display size, and maximum storage capacity of leading mobile phone models have increased.
Furthermore, the growing popularity of touchscreen technology and exponential increases in mobile processor triangles per second (for example, iPhone models quadrupled from 7 million to 28 million triangles per second processing capability between July 2008 and June 2009) have also aided the development of mobile games.
North American Mobile Revenues to Hit $10B
North American revenues from mobile content and applications will total $10 billion in 2015, according to another recent white paper from Juniper Research. Juniper’s $10 billion estimate for total North American mobile content and applications revenue by 2015 made in “North America – Land of Wireless Opportunities” predicts 150% growth from $4 billion in mobile content/apps revenue reported in 2009.