Report: Windows Phone gamers monetising at a higher rate

The Windows Phone Store (previously the Windows Phone Marketplace) has been growing at a fairly steady rate since the platform launched back in 2010. The number of apps and games available to consumers to download (both free and paid) is still increasing, and the platform has passed the 100,000 app milestone.

Since Windows Phone is a smaller ecosystem than both iOS and Android, is it worth investing in app and game development? According to data from EEDAR's 2012 Mobile Syndicated Reports, Windows Phone is actually a valid option for developers when it comes to monetisation. According to the reports, Windows Phone users spend more funds in the Store than users on competing platforms.

10 percent of Windows Phone gamers are classified as "Whales" (those who spend more than $25 a month in the store), compared to just 4 percent on both iOS and Android. The report from EEDAR also notes that 28% of the total number of gamers on the mobile platform are "Dolphins" (people who spend between $5-25 a month). iOS and Android are at 19 and 15 percent respectively. Windows Phone owners aren't afraid of parting with cash.

Gaming Revenue Competition

Overall Windows Phone has the smallest percentage of consumers who don't spend money on apps and games - at just 21 percent. Developers (and the large studios) have continuously passed on Windows Phone due to little marketshare and opportunities for ROI. With Microsoft pushing the platform in the right direction, coupled with Windows 8, developers may have to reconsider the platform if this report is accurate.

But while the percentages of paying consumers are fairly high for Windows Phone, the audience size is still relatively small compared to both iOS and Android. This is an issue Microsoft (and partnered OEMs) are looking to solve through more aggressive marketing and system improvements rolled out in updates.

The report is wrapped up with an interesting question for developers: Ultimately it depends on the target audience. Does your game rely on a larger, casual fan base? Or would it monetize better in an environment with fewer competitors and consumers who are more willing to spend?


Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

  • You know why we spend more in the store than on other platforms? The apps are better quality.
  • Says who? I seriously want to have a discussion with you, (or anybody) who says this. Does WP really have apps that are quality over iOS and android? Lets compare Amazon, eBay, PayPal, Skype, Facebook and other big name apps and tell me if the WP app runs better and has more features. Write back.
  • I agree, app selection on WP leaves alot to be desired.
  • Personally I have only used Amazon, Skype, and Facebook on all three platforms (android, WP, and iOS) and in terms of overall look and feel as well as user experience I'd say the WP versions are all superior to that of both Android and iOS. I will say that for the Facebook app, iOS is probably better, but die to both not checking Facebook much on my phone and the beautiful integration of Facebook baked into WP, I still give it to WP. Although the article, and I imagine the OPs post, are in reference to games. Android had crap games, and although iOS gets some nice games, the amount of, and quality of, the Xbox games really make an excellent case for WP games.
  • I think he meant higher quality average.
  • Maybe it's because apps and games are more expensive on WP. The majority of iOS apps are just $0.99 but I frequently encounter $2.99 games in WP Store.
  • The games cost more on WP, so this shouldnt surprise anyone.
  • At the same time, the deals of the week are a good way to get a lot of the 'dolphins' to cough up a few bucks. I'm pretty sure i've picked up more paid apps on WP than I ever did on iOS (especially deal of the week games).
  • Well if Nokia let me buy a unlocked (ideally cyan) Lumia 920 at a a slightly less ridiculous price than the £556 then they'd have a sale, and not just from me. Otherwise I'm still more than happy containing my mobile gaming life on my dear Omnia 7.
  • doesnt surprise me that we spend more
    almost all of our apps / games are a little more expensive on WP, and unlike android users (or at least everyone i've ever spoken to) we actually buy things, not just see how quickly the thing can be jailbroken and start running whatever they want
    oddly, i buy more games than any of my iphone owning buddies, meaning i spend shedloads more on games, all of theirs they buy for about £1 on average
    maybe game devs should start shitting on android rather than WP judging by my exeriences & that table up there
  • @Racxie
    That has less to do with nokia and more to do with how we are cheated in Germany and Uk. Here in Germany its like they convert the dollar price to the euro price with a 1:1 ration. That shouldn't be allowed and is unacceptable but who do you want to complain to.
  • Almost all decent apps on the app store are paid. Most of the free games are add supported and not well put together. The Xbox tagged games usually cost money but are much better quality. Of course there are a few free gems out there but I don't mind giving money to devs that produce a quality product.. So much crap on the marketplace
  • True
  • The more people spend, the more apps and games come to WP. Thank you to the whales.
  • I like the "try" feature before you buy. On my iPhone I was less likely to buy because I was afraid to get stuck paying for a crappy game. With try I can play it and then decide. I have bought more apps on my windows phone the last 6 months then I did for 2 years with iPhone.
  • In the Netherlands it is a rare to have a credit card, and in wp7 you could only buy apps with a creditcard. So many People out there simply can't buy apps. Luckily you can use paypal in wp8.
  • Credit Cards aren't commonly used in the Netherlands?!
    Anyway I'm almost sure you can link a PayPal account to your Live one and use it in WP7; WP8; W8 and Xbox
  • So do most people in the Netherlands just use cash for the majority of purchases?
  • We've got debit cards ;).
    But yeah, I'd have bought a bunch of apps if they'd support PayPal on WP7, I also linked it with my Xbox account, but I still don't get the option to pay with PayPal in the WP Marketplace, though I can pay with PayPal in the Windows 8 Store :).
  • I'm a dolphin. Tbh, price doesn't bother be that much, I prefer to buy a better game (global leaderboards, glitch free, some depth, tight controls) at a higher price than 2-3 just to play for 10 minutes and never bother again. I like to build a proper library. Unfortunately, most times, we just get the higher price end, not the better quality. Most times, there are a few exceptions, such for instance The Harvest. I'm aware I'm a minority most people I guess prefer ethereal cheap experiences.
  • .
  • This article makes me want to spend more in the Store.
  • Been with wp7 for 12 months now, got 13 paid for apps/games, was on android around 3 years and never paid for anything. I will pay for quality.
  • At least on Android, finding a good game is like wading through a sea of crapware to find that 1 golden app.  Also everyone on Android expects quality, but for free.  Those two things dont go togeather most of the time.
  • I think the Android install base uses it mostly for downloading porn and warez.
  • 25% "whales" on WP is a much smaller number than the 4% on android and IOS though...
  • I've seen a 3 times increase in downloads and a small increase in paid apps. I still don't make much, but I only do it for fun so its fine :)
  • The rate doesn't help if the numbers aren't there. IIRC the rowi team just posted a news that now 70k people have bought the app. So 70k over almost two years. At a price of 1,49 that's just a lil over 100k $. Minus Store fee, minus tax you hardly can employ one developer over just one year for that money.
  • IF its $0.99 and has achievements ill buy it
  • It helps that you can use Bing rewards to buy apps and games.
  • I might spend some money if there was anything worth spending it on. So far not a whole lot of great stuff in the WP store. Reminds me of Android three years ago.