Casual games with movie tie-ins don’t tend to fare so well but the landscape is changing We’ve seen Angry Birds make a debut with a movie tie-in called Angry Birds Rio that’s done quite well for itself and the movie it promotes. The latest news to come from the movie tie-in gaming space is Halfbrick’s announcement of Fruit Ninja based on Puss in Boots.
Have you ever seen a DJ playing a set while walking down the street? I haven’t. But the wonders of modern technology continue to astound us by taking impossible (and maybe even unnecessary) scenarios and translating them to reality. Hence the adaptation of Turntable.fm, the social music service that digitizes DJing, to an iPhone app — the exact scientific breakthrough we need to move forward in the field of mobile party-starting.
Many of the most successful iOS games are not sold by big name publishers like Electronic Arts. Rather, they’re from smaller developers and are not even sold at all, but given away in the App Store’s Free section, earning their revenue via in-app payments. Flurry, a mobile app analytics company, recently reported that of the Top 100 grossing iOS games this June, 65% were freemium. This analysis is consistent with data samples taken from AppData.com, Inside Network’s service that tracks app and developer leaderboards. On a recent day, for example, 15 of the top 25 grossing iOS apps were free (and 8 of 10 paid apps were just priced at $0.99.)
What’s more, the total market for freemium iOS games is poised to rapidly grow. It’s currently 75-150 million, and forecast to reach 200 million by 2012. That forecast comes from Jeferson Valadares, GM of games, at Flurry. “The total iOS base now exceeds 300M devices,” he explained to SocialTimes Pro. “We assume that at least a quarter to half of those play freemium games, as games are the most popular category on iOS, and freemium games are the most popular form of gaming. If Apple continues to grow daily activations of iOS devices at 350,000 per day (a conservative estimate based on recently released Apple numbers) over the next two years, then they will add approximately 90 million new devices each year for the next two years. If we assume a quarter of those users will play freemium games, then the market will add over 50 million new freemium gamers over the next two years.”
What kind of games are succeeding in this new ecosystem? SocialTimes Pro talked with two leading developers about the secrets behind their high grossing titles:
Reminiscent of FarmVille with strategy elements, in The Playforge’s Zombie Farm, the player must harvest zombies like they were crops, and then send them to attack neighbors. Since launching 17 months ago, the company reports the game has attracted over 12 million downloads and monthly active users in the millions, The Playforge VP and general manager Thomas Chung told us.
The best strategy for increasing in-app purchases? For The Playforge, said Chung, “[it] has been to seed users with virtual currency and tutorializing them how to spend it.” In fact, he told us, the company gives away six times as much virtual currency as they actually sell.
High Noon is an extremely popular iOS game which mixes first-person shooter and MMO elements with innovative gameplay that uses the iPhone’s internal accelerometer. According to the developer, it currently has about 1 million monthly active users and 250,000 daily active users. It’s performed well in many countries and, in 2010, was the top 10 grossing game of the year in 60+ countries, according to Apple Rewind.
Developed by Beijing-based Happylatte, managing director Bjørn Stabell told SocialTimes Pro that social media is not very important to their monetization rates: “We do leverage Facebook Connect and Apple Game Center to find friends,” as Stabell put it, “but the game is mainly viral through word-of-mouth and in the real world; the funky controls for holstering and reloading makes the very act of playing the game essentially an ad for the game and acts as a good conversation starter.”
Read more about monetizing free-to-play iOS games in the latest SocialTimes Pro report.
People are often judged by their cars, jobs and houses, but can someone be judged by the mobile phone that he/she keeps? According to an Infographic published by Hunch, users possessing a specific smartphone (Android or iPhone) tend to possess certain traits. The Infographic also provides statistics on the ongoing battle between iOS and Android devices.
Android has outnumbered the sales of iPhone for the first time in Australia. During the last 12 weeks Android accounted for 42.9% of the total smartphones sold in Australia compared to 37.2% of Apple’s iPhone, according to new figures revealed by Kantar’s ComTech WorldPanel.
If we consider only the last four weeks, Android stands on 54% of the smartphones sale (compared to 29 per cent for Apple). This gives a clear indication of Android’s increasing dominance in Australian market synonymous to the US and Western Europe. The recent rise of Android in Australia can also be attributed to the impressive new devices launched by Samsung and HTC in recent months, namely the Samsung Galaxy S II and HTC’s Desire S, Desire Z and Incredible S.
Kantar’s statistics are based on regular interviews every four weeks with a panel of 10,000 Australians aged 16+ ( representation of all population’s age, gender, region and working status). Kantar doesn’t pay the participants to do the survey but do send out gift vouchers as a token of appreciation. The surveys also measure stats such as the actual ownership, purchases, and usage of mobile devices.
Despite the clear statistics, analyst like Foad Fafaghi (from Tersyte) still believe the glory of Android will be short lived as people may be holding off their iPhone purchases in anticipation of the iPhone 5. He thinks that the sale figures of iPhone will lead once again when the next iPhone comes out.
A group of nearly 27,000 South Koreans have filed a lawsuit against Apple for a whopping $26 million, claiming privacy violations on the collection of iPhone user location information. Apple spokesman Steve Park in Seoul has declined to comment on the situation.
Starbucks, the coffee giant, is offering paid iPhone Apps for free to its customers. So next time you visit Starbucks make sure to grab the App on the menu for that week.
The music industry will never rest. Years ago they made a concerted effort to limit file sharing among music lovers, tacking down Napster and creating a sense of guilt among those who downloaded songs, branding them as pirates. Now, in the era of the smartphone and social network, the music industry is once again trying to limit media. Read more
Yesterday was the 4th birthday of the iPhone and to celebrate we thought it would be fun to take a look back at some of the fun iPhone tricks, hoaxes and hacks that have hit YouTube over the past four years.
Continued efforts toward translating community-based music fandom to the digital age are always welcome — even though the process can be made tricky by the fact that this type of work only succeeds when many users are on board with the same software. Frenzapp Music, like so many others, hopes to solve this common problem by becoming the go-to app for everyone’s music sharing needs.
Bitsmedia, developers of Frenzapp Music, are positioning the recent release as a companion version to their original app-sharing software, Frenzapp. Like its predecessor, Music is easy to navigate, aesthetically pleasing and laden with useful features (like seamless Twitter, Facebook and iTunes Music Store integration) and only needs widespread support to become a truly outstanding social music tool.
While it’s impossible to predict whether or not Frenzapp will catch on, its excellent design and developer pedigree make it worth a look. The app’s foundation is definitely strong enough (particularly impressive aspects of the program include streaming song previews, location-based recommendation scanning and full playback controls for all tunes stored on a user’s iOS device) but, like all software of its ilk, it will sink or swim based on its popularity.
If enough people decide to take Frenzapp for a spin we could have a beautiful thing on our hands. One of these days there must be some sort of uniting of the collective unconscious, a wondrous, universal decision to all download the same social music app. And for that hyperbolic utopia to become reality we all have to agree on the best available software. So why not check out Frenzapp Music through its iTunes App Store or official site for a start? It is free after all!