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John Doerr on the iPhone as a Gaming Platform

At the Web 2.0 summitt, John Doerr mentioned the high number of games available in the iTunes App store, and wondered whether the iPhone’s potential as a gaming platform is being underestimated by Sony and Nintendo. His interest stems from KP having funded a company that develops free and paid games available through the iTunes store.

I decided to pull together a few charts that give an overview of gaming in the iTunes store. The share of game apps has grown steadily and hovers around 25% of (the now more than 6,000) apps available:

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As the largest category, Games has several sub categories. The number of apps available in all but three of the gaming sub categories doubled over the last 8 weeks:

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Finally, Free games only accounted for 19% of all games in the most recent week and close to three-quarters cost $1.99 or less:

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UPDATE (11/12/2008): The Wall Street Journal reports impressive numbers for a few iPhone and iPod Touch games

Apple keeps 30% of the proceeds of software sales through its App Store clearinghouse. But even with that split, “games sold via the App Store are the most profitable in terms of any of the formats we work on,” said Simon Jeffery, the U.S. president of Sega. Sega has sold more than 500,000 copies of a $10 game called “Super Monkey Ball” for the iPhone and iPod touch. The game, in which a player navigates a rolling orb around mazes by tilting the device, has reached a sales level that Sega says would be considered a hit for a DS or PSP game, which can cost up to $40.

… So far, Mr. Decrem has had more than 2.5 million downloads of a free music game called “Tap Tap Revenge,” where players tap and shake their devices to the beat of popular tunes. Now the Palo Alto, Calif., firm is selling ads in the game to sponsors such as car maker Jaguar and Comedy Central. It has also released a $4.99 version featuring the rock band Nine Inch Nails.

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