One game or many? The dangers of backing one horse…

With the Grand National just gone, here at dojit we have been thinking about betting and risk. Not betting and gambling, both huge growth areas for mobile phone games, but about how launching a mobile games development house is a bit of a risk. And how perhaps we could all think about this risk.

Is it more risking to launch one game i.e. back one winner based on lots of research in an ever changing market place or launch many, many mini games and learn from the mobile analytical data from each of them to create more success. The difference between one core concept, one narrative, which evolves with know-how and many different creative projects which teach us difference parts of the psychology of our demographic (or perhaps even our core demographic in the first place.)

There seems to be no solid answer to this and if you study the top publishers from Januaray 2013 you see that both tactics have brought success in iOS mobile game development. Companies like Supercell, creating masterful social games full of psychology and high end graphics, in app purchases and upgrades. Whilst companies like NHN and Gree going for the multi development strategy, however, you might be able to argue that the latter could be a symptom of them simply being around for longer and so having a bigger back catalogue.

Personally, I feel that the days of big development are gone. The problem is that the numbers do not back this feeling up presently. In fact, on iOS larger games seem to be doing very well with many of the top ten publishers producing less than 20 games in their entire history – something dojit games wanted to do in a year!


Top Publishers by Monthly Revenue iOS January 2013

Publisher Rank Change
vs. Dec 2012

Category

Headquarters

# of Apps

1

GungHo Online 4

Games

Japan

14

2

Supercell

Games

Finland

2

3

Electronic Arts 2

Games

USA

966

4

Gameloft 1

Games

France

261

5

GREE 1

Games

Japan

114

6

King.com 8

Games

UK

3

7

NHN 1

Various

South Korea

180

8

Kabam 1

Games

USA

8

9

Zynga 3

Games

USA

60

10

Apple 1

Various

USA

19