Microsoft: Games fueling 60% of Windows Phone Store app revenues

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Mobile games now drive more than one-third of Windows Phone Store downloads and 60 percent of total app revenues, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) reports. Close to half of the top 50 Windows Phone developers create games for the platform, the firm adds.

In an effort to make it easier for developers to port games built for Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS and Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android to Windows Phone 8, Microsoft middleware partner Unity Technologies is rolling out its Unity 4 open beta game engine. The Unity platform includes tools designed to help developers builder richer, more interactive gaming experiences: "As a beta participant, you'll test new technology, report bugs and help us to make it better," states Vilmantas Balasevicius, Unity development manager. "Unity 4 Windows Phone 8 support has not yet reached maturity: we are still working on performance optimizations… However, we feel experienced developers can take advantage of this early technology and already ship games on Windows Phone 8."

In tandem with the Unity 4 open beta rollout, a handful of developers have released Windows Phone 8 games leveraging the Unity platform, including Ratrod Studio's Drift Mania Championship 2, Coding Jar Studio's Fling Theory and Echoboom's Orcs Must Survive. Todd Brix, senior director of Microsoft's Windows Phone Apps Team, adds that Imangi Studios is employing Unity tools to port its smash Temple Run to the OS as well.

Microsoft also is partnering with cross-platform app development platform Marmalade. The Marmalade SDK allows developers to deploy a single codebase to multiple operating systems in a few clicks: Monkube's 6th Planet and Spiel Studio's Propel Man, two titles ported from iOS and Android, are now available in the Windows Phone Store.

Gaming hardware designer PowerA additionally announced it will integrate Windows Phone support into its Moga game system, which connects smartphones and tablets with a Bluetooth-enabled portable controller unit complete with dual analog sticks, two shoulder buttons and four action buttons, promising console-quality gaming experiences on mobile devices.

For more:
- read this Windows Phone Developer Blog entry

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