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IDC expects paying mobile gamers to pass paying handheld gamers this year

By Mike Williams

IDC expects paying mobile gamers to pass paying handheld gamers this year

Thu 25 Apr 2013 1:43am GMT / 9:43pm EDT / 6:43pm PDT

Smartphone and tablet gamers are ready to shell out some money in 2013 and beyond

According to a report by the International Data Corporation, the number of paying customers on smartphone and tablet platforms will surpass those on gaming handhelds in 2013. IDC believes that the number of Nintendo 3DS and Sony PlayStation Vita bundles will continue to fall at an average rate of 7 percent year-over-year through 2017. The market intelligence firm still expects handhelds to lead in average revenue per user.

During same period, the number of paying customers on smartphones and tablets is expected to "rise at a rapid rate."

"Android remains quite fragmented but the platform is on its way to becoming a massively popular gaming platform in Asia/Pacific in particular," said IDC research manager Lewis Ward. "In order for Nintendo's and Sony's gaming-optimized handhelds to remain ahead of smartphones and tablets on key metrics such as ARPU, these companies and their game card developer and publisher partners will have to redouble their efforts in a number of respects."

"Digital distribution has reached an inflection point in mobile and portable gaming, and future success will largely boil down to finding a unique balance of freemium business model excellence and that ability to deliver compelling social experiences."

IDC expects total mobile/handheld revenue to approach $23 billion in 2017. The full IDC report, entitled Worldwide Gaming-Optimized Handheld, Smartphone, and Tablet Gaming 2013-2017 Forecast, is available here.

[Image via Anchel]

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Yiannis Koumoutzelis Founder & Creative Director, Neriad Games

367 211 0.6
if only Sony could pick up its weight! i love mobile, i support where it is going, and i am even part of it, my new games are coming on mobile! but i still grab my 3DS to play games that only there can be enjoyed!

Posted:3 years ago


Jakub Mikyska CEO, Grip Digital

228 1,263 5.5
That's some interesting data... this means that the number of paying customers with mobile phones and tablets is smaller than the install base of Vita + 3DS at this moment? (99% of Vita and 3DS owners are also paying customers)
I thought that mobile was supposed to be MASS market.

Posted:3 years ago


Alex Podverbny CTO & co-founder, FireVector LLC

9 6 0.7
> I thought that mobile was supposed to be MASS market.
Yeah, right. And they talk about number of paying customer. What about money those users pay?..

Posted:3 years ago


Tom Keresztes Programmer

743 400 0.5
99% of Vita and 3DS owners are also paying customers)
I think the article about Nintendo's profit earlier this week had some numbers - 3DS users on average buy 3-4 games. Not every smartphone user is interested in games.

Posted:3 years ago


Andrew Goodchild Studying development, Train2Game

1,292 456 0.4
I'm assuming someone who only buys one or two 69p games is counted?

Posted:3 years ago


Paul Johnson Managing Director / Lead code monkey, Rubicon Development

1,219 2,667 2.2
I think that most of them Andrew. It's the sheer weight of numbers that ups the big numbers.

Although over the last couple of months we've seen a noteable drop in earnings from our mobile titles, despite chart positions remaining pretty mich static. Which indicates to me that everyone is seeing less money in their tills.

Statistically irrelevant that maybe, it's definitely worrying us!

Posted:3 years ago


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