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In-app gaming turns serious cash for developers

by Kristen Nicole

There are 101 million mobile gamers in the U.S., according to a recent study from Newzoo, with a whopping 91 percent of revenue coming from in-game purchases. Android plays a big role in the rising number of mobile gamers, though iOS games tend to rake in more revenue than Android titles. The success of Angry Birds Space, which recently soared past 50 million downloads, has demonstrated the potential of mobile gaming, and Google hopes to reiterate Android’s status as a game distribution platform through its Play Store and Google Wallet mobile payment tool.

When it comes to free-to-play games in particular, Google Play is a very viable option for game developers, despite what some studies claim. Spry Fox CEO David Edery recently tweeted that his game Triple Town racks up 67 cents in Google Play for every dollar earned in the App Store. As Google promotes a unified platform for seamless integration with things like Google Wallet for in-app purchases, that ratio could even out in Android’s favor.

Game publishers turn to Android

GREE is certainly hoping for success on Android’s platform. The Asian company that acquired OpenFeint for $104 million last year hasn’t released any of their titles onto the U.S. Android market until now. The first social game release is called Dino Life, where you build a village and keep citizens happy with food and shelter. Breed dinosaurs in a variety of shapes and sizes as you earn more capabilities throughout the game.

Nintendo, too, may be looking to Android in the near future, despite its seemingly long-standing hatred of mobile app stores. Rumor has it that Nintendo is in talks with Google to use Android in at least a portion of its operating system for the upcoming Wii U console, the follow-up to its motion-controlled Wii. That means we could see a Wii U controller in the form of a semi-functional Android tablet, offering a way to leverage content and possibly download games to the device.

Find more great Android games here