In a new market study conducted by App Annie and IDC, mobile gaming users are outspending traditional handheld owners by four times in sales.
Reported by Geek Wire, “Portable Gaming Spotlight” showed Apple Store and Google Play sales quadrupling around the second quarter of this year, when compared to the 3DS and PlayStation Vita's. Additionally, Google Play sales managed to surpass handheld game revenue for the very first time. More than 40 percent of app downloads were gaming related, while 70 percent represented app revenue for Apple and Google. Even though App Annie and IDC's sales date don't come straight from the companies, it's still remains a strong indication of consumers choosing mobile devices over handhelds.
Considering how a majority of Americans now own smartphones, it's not so surprising to learn game sales on iOS and Android systems are triumphing against handhelds'. It also explains why gaming publishers are abandoning the 3DS in favor of mobile devices, as Nintendo's 3D handheld is no longer profitable for them.
Three games that attest to mobile gaming's success are "Angry Bird," "Puzzle & Dragons," and "Candy Crush Saga." However, due to how free-to-play games like "Candy Crush Saga" profiting from microtransactions, some like IGN's Brian Altano are quick to ridicule their success. While there are mobile games that take advantage of consumers, it's unfair to label "Candy Crush Saga" as such when the game is playable without any spending, nor blame it on developers setting their budgets and sales expectations too high. Interestingly enough, research conducted by the firm EEDAR showed a majority of mobile users were aware and satisfied with their in-app purchases. This latest research isn't a justification of the microtransaction business structure, but proof that many in-app buyers aren't being exploited as critics previously believed.