Games: The Killer App for Mobile

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Mobile games are by far the most popular apps in both number of downloads and revenue for mobile device makers. Game downloads for the iPhone and iPad from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) represent 33% and 48%, respectively. Game downloads from Google Play, Google Inc.’s (NASDAQ: GOOG) represent 37% of all downloads. And a whopping 63% of all downloads from Inc.’s (NASDAQ: AMZN) Appstore were games.

The data were compiled and released Thursday by research firm Distimo. The data represents global totals.

In revenue terms, game revenues rose from 64% of all revenues in September 2012 to 77% of all revenues in September of 2013. Shares of game revenue from among the top 400 grossing apps show that iPhone games grab 84% of total iPhone download revenues, iPad games get 73% of all iPad download revenues, and Google Play games get a huge 92% share of download revenues.

Role-playing games generated the largest share of revenue — 14% — at Apple’s App Store in September 2013. Strategy games brought in 13% of revenues and action games 12%. At Google Play, the most revenue was generated by Arcade & Action games, 38%, followed by Casual games with 31%.

Distimo notes that the Asian market was the most reliant on games. In Korea, 94% of Google Play’s revenues came from games and iOS games generated 84% of Apple’s App Store revenues in Taiwan.