Mind-Blowing Mobile Game Development Facts You Need To Know


Want to start with mobile game development? Then you really need to know these mind-blowing facts I have gathered from various conferences, presentations and chats with people from companies as Rovio, Electronic Arts and many more. Those guys said some really interesting facts and hints about production and marketing in today’s mobile industry, so I have decided to share my notes with you, in no particular order.

  • Big companies as Chillingo, BigFish or Rovio are actually able to drive any app into TOP10 in US App Store without spending a single penny on advertising – just by cross promotion techniques in their existing applications.
  • Professional quality assurance process for apps using 2G/3G/4G network connection is pretty exhausting and includes things as driving on a highway, via tunnels or by a train.
  • Moderately successful game in Asia earns $100-500k/month. In these terms, moderately successful means a freemium game with 200-300k installs and 30-50k DAU.
  • TOP1 game in Korean App Store makes $300-500k/day.
  • Gaming company Supercell from Finland is actually doing $4m/day with their two freemium titles Clash of Clans and Hay Day.

Clash Of Clans

  • A  mobile app or game invitation sent via SMS has the highest k-factor compared to all other channels and this trend is even stronger in Latin America.
  • HTML5 technology is still not suitable for high-end game development because of performance issues.
  • Virtual joysticks are evil and user needs to interact with objects directly.
  • If your app  has over 50MB, you can use Wi-Fi targeting options in some advertising networks.
  • People are actually more accurate when they use swipe gestures instead of simple tapping. That’s because they are able to subconsciously control a trajectory of their finger.
  • There are dozens of Android markets in China.
  • Professional gaming developers are using certified psychologists to help them with a game start and tutorial issues, so players could be more engaged during their first game session.
  • The higher the time user spends in app during the first game session, the bigger the chance he will become a paying user.
  • The most successful virtual good in CSR Racing is a limited offer, which appears only 5 times in a whole game.

CSR Racing

  • Many people don’t read text in popup windows just because they think it’s an advertisment.
  • Traffic bigger than 1MB/minute is problem in Latin America.
  • Tablets in Latin America are usually very crappy devices since people are willing to spend more money on smartphones.
  • Almost each western game published in China is too late because local mobile app developers already copied every successful western title.
  • After some app holds its App Store high rank position for 4-5 days, you can say it’s not a scam.
  • Pre-install deals with carriers are strong distribution strategy on Android devices.
  • Many developers use checkout process on Amazon or eBay as benchmark in optimizing their monetization.
  • Rovio is transforming from mobile app development company to entertainment one with increasing revenues from all kinds of toys, gadgets and licenses.
  • For Rovio, animation smoothness is more important than quality of graphics.
  • BigFish is publishing 3 games per week

Do you have any mind-blowing facts on your own? Don’t hesitate and share them with other readers in comment section below!

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About Author

Martin Palsovic

Martin is Chief Marketing Officer at social and mobile game development company Pixel Federation. He loves games. He spent two years in advertising agency working for clients as Adidas or Hyundai. Read more...

  • mobile_kittie

    lol @ those $$ numbers… sick

  • TharleGames

    “just by cross promotion techniques!” this only works for big name companies as they have thousands of downloads every day, for indie game developers i don’t think so! they have to stick with admob or similar marketing services. Rest are great, some i find useful and legit other i have to do experiment on them with my future releases.

    • http://www.palsovic.com/ Martin Palšovič

      Hi Tharle,

      it’s not completely true. You can do cross promotion in “one-way” manner, similar as on any other ad network. Simply, you start a campaign e.g. on Chartboost, upload your banners and then pay per clicks or installs.

      Exactly the same principle as on AdMob or iAds. However, your ads are seen by players and you can literally target your campaign to be displayed on similar games or genres.


      • TharleGames

        Thanks for the reply, seems reasonable, it’s just that most of the indie developers are not completely aware of digital marketing like me, they learn with trial and error method as i did since, past few years. Though the article and site was pretty informative. I am glad i came here :)

        • http://www.palsovic.com/ Martin Palšovič

          No problem and thanks – that’s exactly one of my goals – to help indie developers :) Glad you came.

      • joy patel

        ‘One Way manner’?
        This looks like advertising.
        If Indies had money for ads…

  • Mocha

    Very useful insights. Thanks

  • http://www.b24esolutions.com/ B24esolutions

    Interesting and impressive facts about game development. Mobile gaming
    apps are breaking records in technology market but only highly
    innovative, interesting, entertaining and addicting games can survive
    for more.

  • wero1204

    Thats really interesting facts! Some of them I was aware of, some others left me speechless. Nice blog btw.

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