Indie Game Developers vs. Gaming Giants – Who’s Winning?

As a company who strongly believe in the democratization of mobile game development we are constantly looking for signs that indie developers are winning. Traditionally the video games industry was controlled by giant corporations that didn’t leave room for anyone else. Mobile games changed all that and these days any small studio can make a game and what is most important is that they can make it to the top 25 as well. The next big hit can be yours so don’t stop believing.
Want some more data? First of all you should look at what it means to rank in the top 25? According to research firm Distimo, the top 50 app is being downloaded 23K times per day. We are interested in games (not all apps) so here is the data:
  • 1st place ~ 72K installs/day
  • 10th place ~ 47K installs/day
  • 25th place ~ 20K installs/day
So who made it to the top 25 downloaded games? Some titles are familiar names like: Where is my water 2, Grand theft auto and Candy crush saga but along with them there are 11 games by small developers. The charts can be quite dynamic but we could count 8-15 indie titles in the iOS top 25 of pretty consistently and over 15 in Android. Here is a snapshot from September 18th 2013.

the top 25 most installed mobile games list


Another interesting conclusion one can make by combining these numbers is that the top 200 free games only account for less than 10% of the total downloads. Please check my math:
  • Each top 200 games average 10K installs/day
  • Total game installs for top 200 games is 2M/day
  • In a full year that’s 730M
  • Total game installs/year for iOS is estimated at 8B

The number of 8B game app installs is based on these 3 articles:

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