Mobile Gaming and In-App Purchases boosting Revenues for Free-to-Play Games

Parks Associates releases whitepaper "Trends in Digital Gaming: Free-to-Play, Social, and Mobile Games"

The percentage of U.S. gamers who regularly download games or gaming apps to their mobile devices increased from 7% in 2008 to 18% in 2011, growing in parallel with rising adoption of smartphones and tablets, according to a new whitepaper from Parks Associates. Among tablet owners, 71% of adults and 79% of teens play games on the device at least one hour per month. This growth of mobile gaming is expanding the revenue stream for Facebook games, where gamers already spend $29 per month, and free-to-play games, where gamers spend $21 per month to purchase virtual goods and upgrades.

The whitepaper "Trends in Digital Gaming: Free-to-Play, Social, and Mobile Games" shows the game industry is poised for a significant shift in revenue models as smartphones and tablets are changing the gaming population and how players pay for games. Players can easily make in-game purchases, without having to create a new, separate account, because the game payment system is integrated with their established mobile and app-store accounts.

"In-app purchases greatly expand monetization of the free-to-play model, thanks to seamless payments," said Pietro Macchiarella, Research Analyst, Parks Associates. "Already, most of the top grossing games on iTunes and Android can be downloaded for free and generate the majority of their revenues via virtual purchases. While mobile players are often characterized as 'casual gamers,' they spend a comparable amount of money on free-to-play titles as their peers spend on console games."

As tablet penetration increases, the availability of more complex games will facilitate higher monetization of games running on these devices.

"Games running on smartphones and tablets have a significant advantage in the free-to-play business model, compared to their counterparts on PCs," Macchiarella said.

Download "Trends in Digital Gaming: Free-to-Play, Social, and Mobile Games" at Contact, 972-490-1113.

About Parks Associates: Parks Associates is an internationally recognized market research and consulting company specializing in emerging consumer technology products and services. Founded in 1986, Parks Associates creates research capital for companies ranging from Fortune 500 to small start-ups through market reports, primary studies, consumer research, custom research, workshops, executive conferences, and annual service subscriptions.

The company's expertise includes digital media and platforms, entertainment and gaming, home networks, Internet and television services, digital health, mobile applications and services, support services, consumer apps, advanced advertising, consumer electronics, energy management, and home control systems and security.

Each year, Parks Associates hosts industry webcasts, the CONNECTIONS™ Conference Series, and Smart Energy Summit: Engaging the Consumer.

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