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For every successful game launch, there are probably a hundred others that fell by the way size. SuperScale, a tech company that specializes in helping to drive success for mobile games, released a report on November 22 that showed the alarming high mortality rate of mobile games.

Frightening Reveal From SuperScale White Paper Shows 83% Of Mobile Games Fail 3 Years After Launch

The report titled Good Games Don’t Die revealed that 83% of launched mobile titles die in the first three years while 43% never make it beyond development. Atomik Research which spearheaded the study on behalf of SuperScale came to the conclusion after interviewing 500 game developers in the United States and the UK.

“These are volatile times for the games industry,” said CEO and Founder of SuperScale Ivan Trancik. “Many mobile game developers are finding it hard to remain profitable in the face of challenges such as ATT, heavy competition in a mature mobile market, and macroeconomic conditions like high inflation. Eighty-three percent of games flat-lining in the first three years is an eye-opening statistic, which indicates a new mindset is needed within the industry.”

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Regardless of the high failure rate, it was also discovered that 78% of mobile game developers still prefer to create new titles. Nevertheless, about a third of the respondents said the uncertainty in the mobile game industry “is stopping them from developing new games” and a further 30% think the current market “is too difficult to succeed in”.

CEO and Founder of SuperScale Ivan Trancik
CEO and Founder of SuperScale Ivan Trancik

Also, 76% of launched titles hit peak revenue within the first year while 4% achieved the same feat in the second year. Although more than half of mobile game developers use LiveOps in their games, 38% don’t release regular content or updates. Only less than half provide monthly updates. Consequently, just about 5% of games continue to receive support seven years after launch.

One thing the report also showed was how the high failure rate of mobile games impacted the developers in the mobile game space. Some of the highlighted human impacts include loss of motivation, risk aversion, and increased focus on commercialization.

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The outcome is games froth with microtransactions and adverts which often tend to water down the playing experience. Also, 30% of junior developers with less than a year of experience reported creative unfulfillment from cancellations.

“The art and business of making games is often borne from a place of indescribable passion, and not always for pure commercial gain,” said Trancik. “We believe there is an opportunity for the entire games industry to reflect on the incredible gaming content that has already been created, and to take a second look at what can be done to inject new life into them.”

The SuperScale Good Games Don’t Die report weighed in on game industry layoffs

Frightening Reveal From SuperScale White Paper Shows 83% Of Mobile Games Fail 3 Years After Launch

The global recession in the video game industry has rendered over 6,000 developers redundant this year. Also, there was a general downturn in investment in the game industry. Some of the saddening statistics were captured in the Good Games Don’t Die report. One of the sad realizations was that 32% of developers conducted layoffs. Also, nearly a quarter were closer to shutting down than ever.

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“Findings from the ‘Good Games Don’t Die’ white paper serve as a wake-up call for the industry, a source of inspiration with actionable data; equipping developers and publishers with insight on how revenue can be maximized across their portfolio—for games both new and old,” Trancik said.

According to the SuperScale report, hypercasual developers and collectible card games were most affected by layoffs. Only 32% of studios said they did not make layoffs, downsize, or shut down. To ensure a steady stream of revenue, 62% of developers are using LiveOps in their most viable titles.

What do you think is responsible for the high mortality rate of mobile games? Share your views in the comment section below.

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