Free to Play Games Becoming Big Business on Android, as Game Insight and Godzilab Attest To

Free to Play Games Becoming Big Business on Android, as Game Insight and Godzilab Attest To

Aug 23, 2011

Free to play and freemium games are becoming huge business on mobile app stores. The revenue growth has been massive on iOS, and it’s starting to become big business on Android. Right now on the Android Market, 9 of the top 10 grossing games are all free to play games. Curiously, the only premium app on the top grossing list is actually a $4.99 game, Homerun Battle 3D. The first $0.99 app to show up on the list? Cut the Rope, at #17.

The top 2 games, Paradise Island and My Country, are both from one publisher, Game Insight. Both of their games, My Country, and Paradise Island, are social games that emphasize task completion and world-building. My Country launched on August 10th, and has over 500,000 installs as of publication. Game Insight is seeking to release more free to play titles on Android, with Crime Story set to be released soon.

As well, Stardunk developer Godzilab has reported seeing some financial success on the Android Market, as discussed in a recent blog post. While the average revenue per user on Android has been one-third that of the revenue on the iOS App Store, this has been mitigated by greater download numbers on Android. There is no paid version of Stardunk on Android like there is on iOS; all the revenue has come from ads and in-app purchases. Interestingly, Godzilab will be releasing iOS physics puzzler iBlast Moki on Android Market, but as a premium app.

Because Android Market’s in-app purchases are still a relatively new thing, the top grossing list might not even include all games supported by in-app purchases; developers using systems like Papaya could also be generating revenue that isn’t being tracked by the Android Market. If anything is to be learned, it is that the nature of revenue generation on mobile operating systems is drastically evolving before our eyes.