Good news for game developers: 37 percent of teens looking to buy an iPhone

Apr 7, 2011
Games

A new survey from Piper Jaffray suggests game developers working on Apple’s iOS platform are going to continue to have a big market, as lots of teenagers are looking to get hold of iPhones. The traditional target demographic for games is males ages 12 to about 35, and according to Piper Jaffray’s survey of 4,500 […]

A new survey from Piper Jaffray suggests game developers working on Apple’s iOS platform are going to continue to have a big market, as lots of teenagers are looking to get hold of iPhones.

The traditional target demographic for games is males ages 12 to about 35, and according to Piper Jaffray’s survey of 4,500 U.S. teens, 37 percent of teenagers plan to purchase an iPhone in the next six months. That’s on top of the 17 percent that already own one, according to the story from Pocket Gamer.

Tablets are also gaining ground among teens, according to the survey, which finds that 22 percent of the respondents already own them and a further 20 percent making plans to purchase one in the next year.

The iOS game market is huge and ever-expanding, so an influx of additional customers is always good news for everyone. Developers are already pushing to create lots of new games, ranging from $0.99 casual titles to larger premium games, like Square Enix’s recent port of Final Fantasy III, which comes with a hefty $15.99 price tag.

Another interesting side effect of the big gaming market is a resurgeance in old-school “classic” games, typified by today’s release of Atari’s Greatest Hits. The free app dropped into the App Store Wednesday night and includes in-app purchases of 100 old Atari 2600 and classic arcade games, along with Pong, which comes free with the app. The games are divided into five-game packs that each go for just a buck, opening up all kinds of classic gameplay to new players.

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Other developers are finding new markets for their old games as well. Sega has ported and numerous Sega Genesis and arcade games from the early and mid-1990s to iOS. Even the aforementioned Final Fantasy III is a remake of an older game.

With the iPhone, in particular, and tablets are picking up a wider chunk of the game-playing public, it means more money for developers and a fast-growing ecosystem in which they can do business. Success stories like Angry Birds Rio, which garnered 10 million downloads in its first 10 days of existence, have got to be enticing to developers who also hope to drop an indie hit.

It’s all good news for players, because more players, and more money means more games.

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Phil Hornshaw

Phil Hornshaw is a freelance writer, editor and author living in Los Angeles, dividing his time between playing video games, playing video games on his cell phone, and writing about playing video games. He’s also the co-author of So You Created a Wormhole: The Time Traveler’s Guide to Time Travel, which attempts to mix time travel pop culture with some semblance of science, as well as tips on the appropriate means of riding dinosaurs. Check out his profile.

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