Juniper Research has released the 6th edition of their report on the future of mobile games. The report predicts that the revenue earned from in-game purchases is set to rise substantially in the coming years, and it will overtake the revenue generated through the pay-per-download system of purchase on mobiles by 2013.
In 2009, the total revenue generated by mobile games was $6 billion, and by 2015 this figure is expected to cross $11 billion.
Of late, it has become the norm to offer games for free initially, in order to gain popularity and to get users hooked onto it. Later, additional extra gaming levels and game-play items are made available for purchase.
The report forecasts that the number of users downloading games through off-store and in-store means will rise significantly, thus adding to the total revenue through the pay-per-download and in-game purchase services. Mobile advertising spend is also set to increase substantially.
One of the main challenges that developers face today is that of discoverability. In other words, the game should be able to catch the attention of the user, given that there are thousands of apps and games now available on the iPhone and Android mobile app market places, all of which compete with each other.
This is a vicious cycle, in which a game that is downloaded frequently becomes prominent, but in order to be downloaded frequently, the game has to be prominent in the first place. Since only a few games are able to do this, most of the games usually remain obscure, and therefore clock very few downloads.
Another important feature guiding the growth of this market is the development of new handsets with modern technology that improves the mobile game experience.