In June I posted about why I think there is a real opportunity in “iPad first” game companies. This opportunity is being realized faster than I expected, and now I’m not sure how long the window will remain open.
In August we heard that CSR Racing is driving $12m a month in revenue for Natural Motion:
Now comes a new high point from Benchmark Capital-backed NaturalMotion, which said its highly hyped title CSR Racing passed $12 million in monthly revenue. That’s a big jump up frompreviously reported high water marks like the roughly $5 million or so Infinity Blade apparently pulled in during the very lucrative holiday month of December. The game had quite a bit of an advantage though as it was featured during an Apple keynote at the last Worldwide Developers Conference — an extremely rare feat for a game developer.
Now in October, we’re hearing that SuperCell is doing $15m a month in revenue across it’s two games:
This year it introduced two games for Apple’s iOS device — a farming game called Hay Day and a strategy game featuring wizards and barbarians called Clash of Clans. Both have done well, but Clash of Clans has been especially successful, occupying the No. 1 slot on Apple’s top-grossing iPad game chart in over five dozen countries for weeks, according to Supercell. The games are free to download and play, but, like FarmVille and a variety of other games, Supercell sells its users in-game currency so they can speed up their game progress and buy virtual goods.
Using this model, Supercell executives say its two games are currently grossing over $500,000 a day, which translates into about $350,000 a day in revenue for Supercell after Apple takes its 30 percent cut on transactions through its iOS App Store.
If these revenue run rates keep up, they will get to nine digit annual revenues far faster than any Facebook or mobile gaming company ever did. And they are not alone. Kabam is reputed to be doing $3-5M/month in mobile (phone and tablet) revenue off of Kingdoms of Camelot. Dragonvale sat at the top of the ipad charts for a long time. And there are always lots of casino games in the top ten.
Each time a new gaming platform has emerged, a small number of companies have risen to dominate that platform early on. These early winners have pressed the advantage of early leadership through cross promotion and through higher operating cash flow being invested in more games of higher quality being built more quickly than later entrants.
The iPad gaming opportunity window is still open to new entrants, but not for long. Who else are you seeing that is doing as well on the iPad?