Shocking Report on Game Development Reveal Why 4 out of 5 Games Fail Within 3 Years

game dev reports

In the digital realm, the mobile gaming industry is recognized as a billion-dollar sector boasting a larger user base than that of football or cricket.

However, achieving great success also brings great challenges.

Recent reports on gaming development have unveiled shocking revelations that undoubtedly serve as eye-openers for both developers and the user base.

According to a comprehensive study conducted by Atomik Research for SuperScale’s “Good Games Don’t Die,” a massive 83 % of mobile games face failure within three years of launch.

This means after three years only one out of five mobile games survived after launch (1/5) while four games witnessed demise (4/5).

Furthermore, 43 % of games meet their demise during the development phase, creating a precarious environment for developers on both sides of the Atlantic.

The Peak and Plunge of Revenue

The heart of the matter lies in the swift trajectory of revenue for mobile games.

The study reveals that a significant 76 % of games achieve their peak revenue within the first year of release, with a mere 4 % hitting their revenue zenith in the second year.

This raises questions about the sustainability of mobile games in the long run.

Read Also: Gaming Market to Reach $100 Billion by 2027

The Update Conundrum

A pivotal factor contributing to the industry’s turbulence is the irregularity in content updates.

Shockingly, 38 % of developers fail to release regular updates for their titles.

Less than half commit to monthly updates, leaving a mere 5 % of games with continuous support seven years post-launch.

The lack of updates may well be a crucial factor in the early demise of many promising games.

The Developer’s Dilemma

Despite the challenges, 78 % of mobile game developers express a preference for working on new titles instead of working on their existing games.

Paradoxically, the majority seem reluctant to launch fresh ventures due to perceived market difficulties.

A substantial 30 % find the current market conditions “too difficult to succeed in,” citing concerns about layoffs and studio downsizing.

Read More: Google Play Indie Fund 2023 for Latin American Game Developers and Gaming Startups

Navigating Choppy Waters

SuperScale founder Ivan Trancik, reflecting on the report’s findings, calls the current times “volatile” for the games industry.

External factors such as Apple’s App Tracking Transparency (ATT), intense competition in a mature mobile market, and macroeconomic conditions like high inflation pose significant challenges.

Trancik emphasizes that these findings should serve as a wake-up call for the industry, providing actionable insights for developers and publishers on maximizing revenue across their portfolios.

Lessons from Industry Giants

The report’s revelations resonate even with industry giants like Niantic, the creator of the mobile gaming phenomenon Pokémon Go.

Despite their initial success, Niantic struggled to replicate it with the following launches.

Earlier this year, the company announced layoffs and the cancellation of its Marvel AR project, underlining the industry’s unpredictable nature.

This year also witnessed the removal of Angry Birds from Google Play due to its impact on developer Rovio’s other mobile games.

The move reflects the ongoing struggle for developers to balance the success of one title with the sustainability of their entire portfolio.

Related: Developers can directly upload their underdeveloped games on Facebook

Conclusion: Navigating the Winds of Change

In conclusion, the mobile gaming industry is at a crucial time, grappling with a high attrition rate, market challenges, and the quest for sustained success.

Developers must carefully steer these choppy waters, leveraging insights from reports like “Good Games Don’t Die” to adapt strategies, foster innovation, and ensure the longevity of their creations.

As Ivan Trancik aptly puts it, this report is not just a revelation; it’s a source of inspiration with actionable data, equipping developers with the tools to thrive in the ever-evolving landscape of mobile gaming.

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