The Top 100 apps charts (free and paid) for Apple’s iPhone feature the highest proportion of games, according to Distimo’s analysis of the US market in the third quarter of 2010, with 55 percent of the most popular titles in both categories from this genre. Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, in second place in terms of games penetration is Microsoft’s aging Windows Mobile platform, with 23 percent of free titles and 45 percent of paid products in the top 100 being games.
RIM’s BlackBerry App World performed less well, which is perhaps to be expected due to the business focus of BlackBerry smartphones – although an increasing proportion of the BlackBerry subscriber base are individuals. In the BlackBerry App World top 100, 13 percent of free titles and 28 percent of paid apps are games.
One problem that the survey has encountered is that Google separates “games” and “applications” in the Android Market, meaning it is not possible to create a top-100 across the categories in order to measure the relative popularity of games.
Encouragingly for the games developer community, paid-for games are significantly more popular than free games in Apple’s App Store for iPad, BlackBerry App World and Windows Marketplace for Mobile, and roughly level-pegging in the App Store for iPhone. It is only in Nokia’s Ovi Store and the Palm App Catalogue that free games are more popular than paid-for titles.
Earlier Distimo analysis indicates that gaming giants Gameloft and Electronic Arts are the leading producers of multi-platform titles – interestingly, despite the poor penetration of games in the best-seller charts for BlackBerry App World, this channel accounts for the greatest number of products available from Gameloft. In terms of individual titles, Rovio is seeing continued success for its Angry Birds game, which is in the top ten paid games categories for iPad, iPhone and Palm’s webOS.