Survey: Half of all App Store games generate less than $3K

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Fifty percent of all mobile games distributed via Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) App Store yield revenues under $3,000 throughout their lifecycle according to the results of a new developer survey conducted by Owen Goss, founder of Streaming Colour Studios, the startup behind iOS titles including Dapple and LandFormer.

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Click here to see the charts from this study.

Roughly 250 iOS developers participated in the online survey, conducted during the week of Sept. 19. Goss found that the top 20 percent of iOS developers earn 97 percent of App Store revenues, with the top 1 percent earning more than a third of App Store payouts. Only 25 percent of developers have earned more than $30,000 lifetime total revenue selling iOS games and another 25 percent of developers have hauled in less than $200. Four percent of survey respondents have earned more than $1 million in the App Store.

App Store games generated median revenues of $1,100 over the last 12 months--in other words, half earned more than $1,100 and the other half brought in less. Goss adds that a quarter of games earned more than $10,675 and another quarter generated less than $140.

Freemium mobile games--i.e., titles that are free to download but offer premium in-app transactions like virtual currency and virtual goods--generate 65 percent of gaming revenues in the App Store according to data published in July by mobile app analytics provider Flurry. The report states that the number of consumers who spend money in a free game ranges from 0.5 percent to 6 percent, with spending influenced by the quality of the title and its core mechanics. Ninety percent of consumers are still not spending a dime on in-game transactions.

Games remain the most popular mobile application category, with 64 percent of U.S. wireless subscribers playing mobile titles in the last 30 days, according to research published by Nielsen. Gamers across Apple's iOS platform spend 14.7 hours a month playing mobile titles, while the average gamer spends 9.3 hours each month. Sixty-nine percent of iOS gamers download titles from the App Store--14 percent play preloaded games, 4 percent turn to web games and 3 percent play games transferred from another device.

For more:
- read this Streaming Colour blog entry

Related articles:
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Flurry: Freemium titles yield two-thirds of App Store gaming revenues
Nielsen: iOS users spend twice as much time playing mobile games
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PopCap: One third of adults play mobile games each month