On-portal mobile game revenue jumped 61 percent year-over-year to $151 million in Q4 2006. Nearly 17.4 million mobile consumers downloaded a mobile game last quarter, up 45 percent from a total of 12 million downloaders a year ago, according to Telephia, the world's largest provider of syndicated consumer research to the telecom and mobile media markets. On-portal mobile game revenues also account for 74 percent of total mobile game revenues, while off-portal downloads account for the remaining 26 percent. While revenue is growing, revenue growth is slowing consistent with a market that is maturing.
Mobile games have not been limited to the typical console game demographic of men 18-24 years old. The demographic is much broader, and includes women and all ages. Sixty-five percent of all games are purchased by women. Forty percent of all games are purchased by mobile consumers age 25-36.
"The mobile game industry has seen strong growth very quickly with titles that appeal to a broad demographic. However, the industry is faced with a new challenge in order to sustain its growth. Several new mobile content services such as mobile video and full-track music are also competing for the mobile consumers' attention and wallet," said Kanishka Agarwal, Vice President of Mobile Content, Telephia.
The mobile game market continues to be a highly competitive space, with nearly 90 publishers vying for a piece of the market. EA Mobile leads the on-portal game download market with nearly 28 percent of total revenue. Gameloft and Glu Mobile share the second tier with 11 percent each. Namco, I-play, Digital Chocolate, Hands-On Mobile, Superscape, Capcom and Oasys Mobile make up the next tier of players with revenue shares ranging from 2-6 percent.
Using Preloads as a Merchandizing Lever
As the mobile game market gets more crowded, publishers are keen on finding new solutions to get a leg up on their competition. Top placement on carrier download decks is a hard-fought battle among publishers and a lot of emphasis is focused on that strategy. But preloading a game onto devices is another critical merchandizing lever. As part of Telephias new Mobile Game Merchandizing product, the company will be tracking preloaded game decks. Preliminary Telephia findings are consistent with industry consensus that Tetris by EA Mobile is the most preloaded title in the U.S.
"Preloaded game demos provide consumers with easy access and a quick sample of the game title, increasing the likelihood of them purchasing the game and ultimately driving revenues for the publishers. Publishers must focus effort on handset preload decks in addition to carrier download decks as a critical merchandizing tool," added Agarwal.