Inside Mobile Apps has an interview with the winners of Apple's choice for best iPhone game of the year, David and Ian Marsh of NimbleBit. I was a huge fan of their freemium title Pocket Frogs, but it's their latest release, Tiny Tower, that has earned a lot of solid accolades (not to mention a bunch of in-app purchase money). I talked to the guys way back at GDC earlier this year before Tiny Tower came out, so it's good to get an update like this on where they're at now.
Tiny Tower's been downloaded over 7 million times so far, and the brothers expect it to clear 8 million by the end of the year. And not only are people getting the game, but they're playing it, with nearly a million daily active users at peak, and around 600,000 right now. That's phenomenal for an app of this kind. Their income is also doing very well -- most companies were aiming for around 2% of the player base to be paying for in-app items, but NimbleBit says Tiny Tower is around 5% of the player base, with the average player putting about $10 in the pot. Overall, Tiny Tower has fewer "big spenders," but the bigger player population means there's more money coming in.
Very interesting -- early on, the freemium market was mostly based on "whale" customers, or people who spent a lot of money to support a lot of cheaper players. But as quality goes up, we'll probably see more apps like Tiny Tower: high quality "hits" that have a large player base with a relatively high pay rate, but not as many "whales." Fascinating stuff. The Marshes also say they're working on a brand new title which will be a whole new IP, so we'll have to stay tuned and see what they're up to next.