iOS and Android devices continue to chip away at the portable gaming market and Nintendo is feeling the pain, according to a new report from mobile analytics firm Flurry. The firm says that game sales on the two platforms have managed to explode between 2009 and 2010 while sales on portable game systems shrunk—so much that Flurry has begun referring to the DS as Mario’s “burning platform.”
Flurry says that 40 percent of all consumer app sessions on iOS and Android were spent on games throughout 2010. As a result, the two platforms generated $800 million in game revenues—an increase from $500 million in 2009. It’s important to note, however, that Flurry only tracked iOS game sales in 2009—the iPad and other tablets didn’t exist during that time, nor did much of the Android gaming market. Still, even with Android in the mix, the company said that the “significant” majority of the combined gaming revenues were generated by iPhone games, so it’s possible that Android and tablets are still only beginning to contribute to that slice of the pie. (Flurry also does not count PC games in its numbers—only console, portables, and iOS/Android.)
At $800 million in 2010, iOS and Android games made up 8 percent of the non-PC gaming market—an increase from 5 percent in 2009. Comparatively, dedicated portable devices shrunk from 24 percent in 2009 to just 16 percent in 2010, while the console market grew slightly from 71 to 74 percent. Flurry is confident that it’s not consoles that are working against portable gaming systems, though:
“It’s clear that prolific installed base gains by Apple and Android devices, low priced games (including a very robust free-to-play model enabled by in-app purchases) and seamless digital distribution to games on devices so near to consumers 24-hours-a-day, is driving potent industry-disruption,” the company wrote on its blog.
The firm went further and broke down the revenue numbers between just the DS, PSP, and iOS/Android platforms. Both the PSP and DS suffered, but it was definitely Nintendo that took the biggest hit, going from 70 percent in 2009 to just 57 percent in 2010. Meanwhile, iOS/Android grew from 19 to 34 percent during that same period of time.
Even though the iOS and Android gaming markets “spiked significantly” in 2010, Flurry predicts that the battle between Nintendo and other casual gaming platforms will continue to intensify.
“Over 2011, we expect to see continued and significant smart-device game growth fueled by the recent launch of iPad 2, iPhone coming into distribution on Verizon, the expected release of iPhone 5, a relentless expansion of Android devices by leading OEMs across all major U.S. carriers, and Google’s enablement of in-app purchase billing, a proven key driver in iOS game revenue,” Flurry said. “Mario may indeed be standing on a burning platform.”
I’m not a hardcore gamer, but I did use both a DS Lite and a PSP for years before the App Store started to take off. Today, I couldn’t even tell you where those old devices are buried, but I can show you where to find all my games on the iPad and iPhone. All I want to know is: when do I get my iOS version of Dr. Mario?