Posted by: Mark Hawkins | May 15, 2009

The in-app upsell and mobile games

Would you like any cakes or muffins with that coffee today? Can I get you a shirt with that suit? The upsell is everywhere.

In-application upselling is set to exceed $14billion by 2014, according to the latest Juniper Research report. Juniper says the ‘freemium’ business model, in which free-to-download applications are monetised through subsequent micropayments from within the application, will become increasingly prevalent.

The iPhone is set to support in-app billing later on this year as part of its operating system v3.0 upgrade, and Juniper expects other app stores to follow suit.

Vodafone will hope they’re right too, having this week released the first details of what’s being heralded as their own app store.

The in-app upsell will be important to the success of mobile games: advancing to the next level, adapting skill level. Mobile games has long appeared something of a peripheral market to the outsider. One waiting patiently to explode but dependent on the limitations of the devices, their market penetration, and the mass consumer inclination to only ever buy and use more than one game in a blue moon.

However, there remains massive potential. Market projections for mobile games remain bullish and Zed Media’s recent acquisition of Player X may also be significant for its imminent development through operator portals.

I haven’t dabbled in mobile games outside of those pre-installed on handsets. Perhaps subconsciously due to memory of that one-time mis-bill many months ago when my bill revealed I’d been charged for a game I hadn’t downloaded when portal browsing. This doesn’t help.

But online integration and interactive connectivity certainly can.

Gaming has grown up with that beast, the internet. I’m not a huge gamer but am occasionally offered a glimpse of how the traditional web has made an impact by those who are.

Guys at my football club have mentioned playing PS2 football against random strangers online: “..had some Russian goin seriously mental at me on Pro Evo last night.” So it’s obviously opened up and, um, brings international communities together, but can mobile games exploit this connectivity-enabled interactivity or will bandwidth limitations hamper once again?

For the foreseeable, probably yes. Despite PlayStation’s switch to open source and rumours about a possible PlayStation phone, chances are that mobile gaming will be led by that Apple device, the emergence of other app stores and the upsell.

Can I get you another one of those?

Links
Juniper report
Vodafone app store
Zed acquire Player X
PlayStation phone rumours

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