Mobile-first, indie gaming companies dominate with two-thirds of user sessions on Android, iOS

Independently-owned gaming companies that went mobile first are dominating gameplay sessions compared to established companies that crossed over from other platforms, according to Flurry.

These companies, which started their businesses on iOS and Android, have two-thirds of the gameplay sessions, according to the mobile analytics firm. Other companies like EA or Activision have just one-third of the gameplay sessions, and this includes companies these giants may have acquired like the Chillingo label. (For the record, I think “indie” is a little bit of a misnomer now since many of these mobile-first companies are growing up and have around 100 employees or roughly $20 million in venture funding like TinyCo.)

Flurry points to this as a sign of the health of the Android and iOS ecosystems. No single player has emerged to dominate either market, which would stifle innovation from other emerging companies.

“While we would have expected indie game developers to fare better early on in the history of iOS and Android mobile app platforms, it’s remarkable that their dominance to has grown over the last several years, with no signs of slowing,” wrote Peter Farago, Flurry’s vice president of marketing in a note.

“Indie” games saw their market share dip in beginning of the 2011 during an earlier wave of consolidation with Zynga buying Newtoy and DeNA buying Ngmoco and Gameview Studios. But independent companies pushed back and we’ve seen a few true indie game developers like Imangi Studios and NimbleBit hit some home runs over the past year.

Overall, as the raw footprint of Android and iOS reaches about 500 million active devices, gameplay sessions have quadrupled over last year. They have gone up by twenty-fold since 2010.



Games, as we’ve reported before, dominate with more than 50 percent of worldwide sessions, followed by social networking. Flurry is going to be highly unrepresentative on this front, however, because the company has no visibility into the 800-pound gorilla of all mobile apps: Facebook.