The year 2013 was one for the books in the continuously evolving gaming market. At the start of the year the revenue from handheld gaming consoles outshined both Android and iOS mobile games and looked as though numbers would be remaining steady. Sadly for leading companies such as Nintendo and Sony, towards the end of 2013, apps such as Candy Crush Saga and Temple Run left them in the dust, according to an App Annie report.

App Annie Index - 2013 Retrospective


By the end of 2013, the revenues for both Android and iOS games doubled while handheld gaming lost a third of its revenue market share, according to International Business Times. Consumers spent more on Apple’s iTunes App Store and Google Play than on dedicated portable gaming systems, CBCnews reported, with iOS and Android games bringing in three times as much money as handheld gaming in the third quarter.

In-app purchasing accounted for the vast majority of revenue from games. Up from 86 percent in 2012, in-app purchases accounted for 93 percent of game revenue in 2013. Often referred to as the “freemium” model of software monetization, in-app purchasing allows publishers to offer their games at no initial cost with enhancements that can be bought within the app.

By revenue, the top mobile game of 2013 was Puzzle and Dragons by GungHo Online Entertainment, with Candy Crush Saga from Limited in second place. In terms of worldwide downloads, Candy Crush Saga led the pack, followed by Kiloo’s Subway Surfers and Imangi’s Temple Run 2.

Candy Crush - Mobile Game Development Service


Changing App Trends

While iPhone and iPad game revenue still exceeded that of Android, both increased at approximately the same rate over the course of 2013. At the same time, Google Play switched places with the iTunes App Store when it came to downloads, leading by 15 percent in 2013.

Much of Google Play’s revenue growth came in Japan, which increased its total app spending 3.3 times between October 2012 and October 2013. In fact, Japan’s app spending surpassed that of the United States. South Korea and the United Kingdom rounded out the top four spenders. App Annie expects BRIC nations (Brazil, China, India, and Russia) to grow strongly in 2014, along with emerging markets Hong Kong, Indonesia, Mexico, Taiwan, and Thailand.

Apps focused on social messaging, music, photos, and videos grew as well. Music apps increased their revenue 77 percent, while downloads of photo and video social apps went up 55 percent. Even more serious apps related to mobile banking, payment, and financial management increased 55 percent.

As we jump into 2014, these are just a few points to consider for your business. No matter what kind of app you are looking to develop, if designed correctly, it can be profitable as well as popular among consumers. To learn more about app development or speak with an expert on mobile apps, call (603) 881-9200 or email us.

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