Note: This article previously appeared in Cult of Mac Magazine, available in the App Store.
Over 65 percent of the app downloads in the world are game downloads, across the App Store and Google Play. Some 90 percent of the revenue generated from mobile gaming is from a freemium business model, said Bertrand Schmitt, CEO of App Annie.
This is just one of the insights that came from a trends panel that also included folks from gaming engine Unity and publisher/developer Pocket Gems.
Ben Liu of Pocket Gems said that the next level of gaming innovation will likely be more in the technical arena, as platforms and tools will make games more photo-realistic, 3D, and have better real-time social communication.
The biggest problem in mobile gaming? App discovery. Getting people to find your game is difficult in such a crowded, if profitable, market.
Unity CEO Dave Helgason says that the next move in for helping people get found is sharing video replays on places like Twitch TV, a strategy that console makers like Sony already support.
Although Liu agreed, he still thinks that the best games will still win out over other user acquisition strategies. He said despite all the marketing money, the gaming industry is “still a pure place.”
Chartboost CEO Maria Alegre says that speed of development is also key, citing the amazingly fast appearance of hundreds of Flappy Bird clones so soon after the original game exploded in the scene.
No matter what, it’s surely an exciting time for mobile gaming.
As Pocket Gems’ Liu said, we’re going to start seeing games that aren’t just inspired by games on other platforms, but more games designed directly for the advantages of the touchscreen devices we all carry around.