Developers Need To Be In The Top 100 iOS Games To See A Profit

Making money in mobile gaming is not easy, according to the researchers at analyst firm Newzoo. In a report to GamesIndustry, the mobile gaming firm has shown that developers who are not lucky enough to be in the Top 100 iOS games may not have much of a chance in terms of profitability.

The report on the top 100 iOS games in Europe, China, and the United States show that once you fall below the top 20 games on the App store, you enter an uncertain realm. The study shows that in the U.S., at least a hundred games will gross around $7 million or more in 2015 in iOS revenue. In the U.S., iOS represents just over half of the mobile game market with the remainder being Android phones and the small minority of Windows phones. The breakdown for the U.S. numbers for the top 100 iOS games are:

  • Rank 1 – 20: $5,972,306.00
  • Rank 21 – 50: $1,482,971.00
  • Rank 51 – 100: $576,735.00
  • Rank 101 – 1000: $7,784.00

So what do these numbers mean for the aspiring iOS game developer? According to Newzoo CEO Peter Warman, studios should be targeting a $1M revenue from their sales on the iOS App store. “$1M is an important threshold because you would need this to run a small game studio of 5 to 10 people. Of these 170 companies, 64 grossed more than $830,000 in June, or >$10M gross annual revenues (studio of 50-100 people).”

A cursory glance at the iOS game store will showcase the top iOS games for the week which has not changed beyond a small reshuffling over the last several months. Game of War, with its $40 million Kate Upton commercials, has been the top game for months with Clash of Clans and Boom Beach waiting in the wings. Game of War itself is estimated to be raking in $1.1 million daily despite theories on how the commercial enterprise has hurt the model’s career.

Realistically, not every developer is going to crack the top iOS games list, so what is the answer to profitability in a very competitive market? According to Warman, the solution is in the product release strategy.

The mobile games market is a global enterprise, with international releases being relatively easy. A developer in the United States may find that their game is better suited to the gaming (or spending) habits of customers in Southeast Asia. “By analyzing appstore data, you can size and profile the opportunity for your game across all territories and, depending on your marketing budget, select countries where it is realistic to reach a certain rank position required for your game to fly,” Warman explained.

[Image Source | Game of War]