A new analysis by IDC and App Annie shows that Google Play games have moved into second place during the second quarter of 2013 in worldwide spending by gamers on portable platforms. In moving up a spot, Google Play displaced dedicated portable gaming devices like the Nintendo 3DS and Sony PlayStation Vita. Google Play still trails Apple’s iOS App Store by a wide margin.
The growth in revenue for Android games is attributed to three primary factors by Greg Hartrell, Google Play’s project manager. First, Google Play has expanded into 130 countries compared to only 30 countries as recently as early 2011. This broader market serves the gaming community well as three out of four Android users play games on their devices. Developers have figured out new ways to collect revenue from games, notably through the use of direct carrier billing. Hartrell also thinks Google’s game services platform has contributed to the growth in revenue. By using Google’ game services platform to handle things like multiplayer function and saving to the cloud, developers can focus more on the actual games and producing better, more compelling titles that consumers are willing to pay for.
Like the growth in the number of countries where Google Play is available, the explosive growth of the Android platform is helping developers in the space for portable games. There are about seven times as many Android devices in the hands of consumers as there are dedicated handheld gaming consoles. The dedicated devices will probably still prove attractive to game developers though as they can generate more revenue per user.
In a related analysis, IDC also looked at the overlap between handheld console gamers and other devices they own. The analysis indicated about 40% of the owners of Nintendo and Sony devices also game on Android or iOS devices.
Do you think dedicated handheld gaming devices will go the way of the manual typewriter due to the ability of gamers to use their tablets and smartphones for gaming?