Japan continues to dominate average revenue per user (ARPU) for mobile gaming on the iPhone, but growth in China is rapidly gathering pace, according to a new study.
The research from intelligence firm App Annie, which measured ARPU for mobile game apps in five markets, also including UK, US and South Korea, found that Japan averaged more than twice that of the other four countries for the top 30-revenue generating games.
Meanwhile, China also performed strongly, coming in second, ahead of the US in terms of average ARPU, with its growth increasing by nearly 10 times since early Q1 2014, said the report.
In terms of games categories, role playing games were the most popular in Japan, with 22 of the top 30 accounted for in the genre.
Another common feature in the country was a trend by users to spend for the chance to buy a high-value in game item, such as collectible cards.
In China, multiplayer online role playing games were most popular, accounting for four of the top five games, and monetise through purchasing in-game currency which players can use to buy items for characters.
In both the US and the UK, Game of War – Fire Age led in average monthly ARPU among the top 30 games by revenue.
According to the report, a player would need to spend more than $100,000 to buy everything the game has to offer.
Overall, App Annie said the five markets experienced solid growth from Q2 2014 to Q2 2016 in average monthly ARPU of their top 30 games by revenue, which is largely down to “change in the composition of the highest revenue games”.
“Games with high ARPU are becoming more prominent among the top revenue generators,” it said.
According to accompanying analysis in the report, Europe as a whole however lags behind other major markets in terms of ARPU for iPhone games, with the UK, Germany and France significantly behind market leader Japan and the US.