Flurry: iPhone Games Are A $500 Million Industry In The U.S. And Taking Share

If you look at the top paid and top grossing apps in the iTunes App Store, the Games category dominates. People pay for games, but exactly how much do they pay? A new report coming out later today from mobile app analytics company Flurry puts a number on the iPhone/iPod Touch videogame industry. In 2009, Flurry estimates that $500 million worth of games were sold through the App Store in the U.S., up from $115 million in 2008. Compared to the overall U.S. console and portable videogame market, the iPhone/iPod Touch now represents 5 percent of total videogame sales. (These figures include console games such as PlayStation and Xbox, but not online or social games). Games represent 37 percent of Flurry’s total U.S. App Store 2009 revenue estimate of $1.36 billion.

In just the portable videogame market, the numbers are even more stark. The iPhone and iPod Touch are making serious inroads against the Sony PSP and Nintendo DS. Games running on the iPhone OS went from 5 percent of portable game revenues in 2008 to 19 percent in 2009. The iPhone OS took 9 points of software revenue market share away from the PSP last year (which went from 20 percent to 11 percent) and 5 points from Nintendo DS (75 percent to 70 percent). It is eating up the portable games market.

There are 30,000 games on the iPhone and growing. If you are a gamer and already own an iPhone, you have to be pretty dedicated to also carry around a PSP, Nintendo DS, or some other single-purpose game machine. When it comes to mobile gaming, fully-featured, general-purpose computer phones are hard to beat.