It can’t be surprising to anyone with a smart phone (or has been on any form of public transportation) that mobile gaming is on the rise. Developers are scrambling to get the next big hit like Draw Something as the mobile and social game giants, Rovio and Zynga, are continuing to dominate the market.
According to a new infographic by businessdegree.net, more than $12 billion was generated by mobile gaming in 2011 with 34% of the top grossing apps in the app store using the freemium model. Once someone is hooked, they’ll continue to spend a few dollars to continue to enhance their play. On average freemium games make $12.92 a month per user.
Amazon recently rolled out in-app purchases for apps in the Amazon Appstore, which, thanks to the rise of the Kindle Fire, is reportedly more lucrative for some developers than the Google Android app store that’s part of Google Play.
Now there’s good news for developers and heavy-spending app users alike: Amazon is upping the maximum price that can be charged for an in-app purchase.
Last year, a company called Lodsys began contacting developers of iPhone and iPad apps utilizing in-app purchases, alleging that their use of in-app purchases, functionality provided for by Apple, violated a patent it owned.
Patent trolling has become so common that this wouldn’t be surprising, but there was a wrinkle in Lodsys’ case: Apple itself was already a licensee of the Lodsys patent in question.
Google may have plenty of reasons to be proud of its Android operating system, but when it comes to the Android ecosystem, another company may actually be having more success selling Android apps than Google is.
That company is Amazon, which last year launched its own Android app store, dubbed Amazon Appstore.
Mobile in-app purchases are expected to hit $4.8bn by 2016, and increasingly they’re key to the monetization models mobile app developers and app store operators are employing to keep themselves well fed.
But the dollar signs are somewhat deceptive. Profiting from in-app purchases is a lot more difficult than just enabling in-app purchases, and not all developers will implement the model successfully.
So what’s the secret to success?