A New Study Shows Which Countries Spend the Most on iPhone Games

A recent report put out by the intelligence firm App Annie took a look into which countries spend the most mobile games for the iPhone. To figure this out, researchers looked at the average revenue per user (ARPU) for the top 30 iPhone games in five countries: China, Japan, South Korea, the UK, and the USA.

Japan is yet again in the top spot of this study. App Annie researchers found that Japan’s ARPU in the second quarter of 2016 doubled that of all the other four countries.

One surprise from this study was the intense growth in China. The ARPU increased in the People’s Republic by about 10 percent since the first quarter in 2014. Part of China’s rapid rise could be due to the increased smartphone penetration, researchers note.

The most popular genre for Japanese consumers continues to be role playing adventures. About 22 of the top 30 games sold in Japan were role playing titles. Also the gacha mechanic, through which Japanese gamers pay for rare in-game items, was very high for Japanese gamers.

Chinese gamers also favored role playing games, but they tended to be interested in multiplayer experiences. Multiplayer role playing games made up four out of five of China’s biggest mobile game hits.

The United States came in third place, almost tied with South Korea in ARPU numbers. However, App Annie noted that all of these five nations experienced huge growth in ARPU since the second quarter of 2014.

The top mobile game in both the US and UK is currently “Game of War—Fire Age.” This strategy game has been so successful at monetizing due to the large amount of special items available in the title. Conservative estimates say that a gamer would have to spend over $100,000 to purchase every single item in this game.

The United Kingdom came in last place in this study. App Annie analysts note that all European markets are way behind in ARPU numbers for iPhone games, especially in comparison with Japan and China.

App Annie researchers said that ARPU numbers are still of critical importance for any game developer to keep track of. These researchers point out that any game developer interested in releasing and monetizing their content through the App Store should take a serious look at these numbers.