Richard Firminger spoke at a GDC Europe conference, attended by Gamasutra, about how smartphones are hurting the dedicated video game handheld market. Firminger is the managing director of EMEA territories at metric firm Flurry Analytics.
Firminger stated that the share of revenue for the Android and iOS in the U.S. handheld and mobile game market, which includes the 3DS and PlayStation Vita, has increased from 19 percent of a $2.7 billion market in 2009 to 58 percent of a $3.3 billion market in 2011.
“It’s really sort the biggest content revolution that we’ve ever seen. It’s exciting and it shows that indies can kill a very, very established market,” said Firminger.
However Firminger does warn that no matter how popular a game for smartphones maybe that doesn’t mean the developer has gained a new customer for life. “It’s just the first in a very long process to get people to open and play your game. The retention rate is really depressing. In general, after 12 months, most developers would have lost 96 percent of their audience.”
“What’s the expected male/female age distribution for your game?” he said. “Where are you heading and who are you designing the game for? Are you designing for middle-aged men or are you designing for teenagers? What’s the DAU you’re supposed to expect if you’re going to compete and you’re going to compete effectively in this genre? What sort of revenue might you get back in terms of monetization from in-app purchases and advertising?”
“‘Build them and they will come’ no longer applies here. Having significant marketing is an advantage and it’s not the only thing you should be doing but it should be part of your consideration if you’re taking this challenge by the horns,” he added.