iOS revenue survey results – first impressions

In case you haven’t seen this come across your feed yet, there was an interesting survey on iOS revenue done by the guys over at Streaming Colour iOS studio. They’ve finally posted the results from this survey (and its 252 respondents) and while I would’ve preferred to have the raw data to analyze myself I thought I’d give my initial thoughts on the results.

While a sample size of 252 is hardly enough to get any data that is statistically significant, there are a few patterns that emerge that do support a few theories that I’ve spoken to on this site. (Remember, these are just my theories and should be taken as such.)

The more games you ship -> the better you get at it -> the more money you make

This one is pretty self explanatory and, to me, is the most interesting of all the slides. This supports a lot of theories around failing repeatedly in order to find success and is certainly something that we take to heart at Drizzly Bear.

We’re clearly moving towards non-sales revenue models

No one can deny that as an industry we’ve done a major shift towards IAP. These two charts show that the revenue generated from sales vs. non-sales is almost exactly the same over the last 12 months. I would be willing to bet that if this time was shorten, let’s say to the past 3 months, that you would see that non-sales have eclipsed the sales revenue.

Conclusion I didn’t agree with:

When I looked at the survey, I disagreed with the developer type question and seeing the data presented now even further supports my discomfort with this question. First of all, what is the difference between an iOS game company and a full time indie developer? A distinction was not made in the survey. Also, this question fails to capture people that may have moved between groups. For example, an indie developer may have been full-time, failed, and moved to part-time. Now you’ve framed all of his failures in the “part-time” category when really those failures (or lack of revenue in this definition) should go under full-time. There’s just far too much subjectivity in the answers to these questions to make the data useful.

In all, revenue information is extremely difficult to find and I’m happy that someone took the initiative to try and compile some conclusive information in a safe, compelling way. Even if we can’t draw hard conclusions from the data it is certainly a good starting point for making conclusion in the future. At the very least it helps this indie dev know that she’s on the right track with her theory of shipping early and often. :)