Console and social games going mobile, monetisation strategy in the spotlight

We are seeing Nintendo stumble through some tough times and Sony trying to come back with a new Vita handheld game device. As Flurry pointed out already in some interviews, revenue is increasingly flowing toward mobile app titles.

Exponentially, the energy is moving away from console games to mobile apps built by a growing army of developers. Game companies are fully aware of these challenges as they are investing heavily in mobile dimension. Of the 60 titles that formed the top 20 most grossing games for August 2012 on iPhone, iPad, and Android, 56 were mobile, free to play. According to a report released by App Annie, in the fourth quarter of 2012 sales of mobile games overtook those of handheld consoles in terms of consumer spending, both Android and iOS combined.

Apart from the video games companies, social games publishers are embracing the mobile opportunity as well, creating the mobile app versions of their games. As gamers migrate from traditionally free-to-play desktop platforms like Facebook there is an increasing prevalence of the mobile games business model. Some reports from 2012 Q3 showed double digit user decline in top games from major social publishers. Over the last year, trends in the casual digital gaming space have turned towards mobile and away from PC-based social gaming, at least in Western markets.

This is more than a good reminder of how smartphones and tablets are changing the gaming industry. It is more than evident that the future of the gaming industry lies in smartphone-based, and smartphone influenced gaming. But the prevailing concern of the booming mobile free-to-play gaming market is optimal monetisation model. There is no doubt that revenue from mobile gaming space is heavily growing - the vast sea of newly created game apps is making monetisation models never more important.

If any gaming business is set to target mobile audience, the most challenging task will be to define a monetisation business model. Those monetisation models really boil down to two strategies: 1. ad supported app, 2. subscription supported app and/or app with in-app purchase. Every option has its upsides and downsides. Ad supported apps are convenient for games with a larger base of players unwilling to pay – not an optimal solution for start-ups. Bottom line, ads are annoying and can negatively affect player engagement. This is another point in favour of the in-app mobile payment option. If you decide to integrate a mobile payment option you can have a subscription based model combined with in-app payments. You can combine a free version of the game with paid upgrades and extra features. In addition you will have complete insight into your business through a user friendly interface and a hassle-free integration process.

If you decide to embrace the mobile potential of the gaming market the monetisation model can determine the success of your business. So, don’t forget to consider a stable, global in-app mobile payment solution as a sole choice or in combination with other monetisation options.   Find out more about Centili in-app payment features and contact us , or create your mobile payment account in 10 minutes. Our team will be visiting 2013 Casual Connect Asia in Singapore. Feel free to set up a meeting.  See you in Singapore!   Sources: develop-online, gigaom, rethink-wireless