Mobile Gaming Report – Thanks to Distimo

>Our friends at Distimo, a research company in Utrecht – The Netherlands, just released a 27 pages report about the mobile gaming market. These slides are the highlights, in my opinion. 

The major findings are:

• Games are still the most popular downloads for Phones, whether paid or free 
• The average selling price of games declined by 28% over the last year, while the revenue generated by the most successful freemium games increased tenfold during this period in the Apple App Store for iPhone.
• The presence of virtual currencies within games is one of the main reasons behind the popularity and monetization success of in-app purchases. 35% of the 300 most popular free games in June use some sort of virtual currencies to monetize in the Apple App Store for iPhone.
• Looking at the 300 most popular paid for applications, 72% of downloads are
generated by games while the remaining 28% of downloads are generated by
applications other than games in the Apple App Store for iPhone.
• The total revenue generated by top grossing games increased by 79% year-on-year in the Apple App Store for iPhone.
• A small number of publishers dominate total game downloads: ten publishers
account for more than half of all downloads among the 300 most popular paid
games in the Apple App Store for iPhone.
• Notwithstanding the popularity of games, the growth rate of the number of
applications other than games is higher than the growth rate of the number of
games in most stores. The number of games has increased faster than other apps only in the Apple App Store for iPhone, the Apple App Store for iPad and GetJar, but the growth rate for games in other stores is lower than for other applications.

It’s interesting to see that more and more games (and apps) are using the freemium model and use ‘micro-transactions / ingame-transactions’ (as described in my book ‘A Brand New Playground‘) to make money. It’s a trend that is apparently evident if you look at the data. 

For more mobile research and consultancy, please visit Distimo’s website:

SmartGate – the Game 2 just launched…


I still discovered some bugs, but SmartGate the Game 2 has been released. After almost 16 months of talking, looking for the main problems around air cargo and in the offices of all stakeholders, IJsfontein delivered game 2 and my job as a consultant is done!
The first game was all about transporting cargo from shipper to airplane. Game 2 of the SmartGate project takes this a little bit further and brings more detail to the playing field. It let’s you experience the possible effects of your actions in a virtual logistic air cargo game.
My first thoughts at the time where that the ‘final’ game of the SmartGate project would be a sort of RUSE / Sim City / Logistic Tycoon in an air cargo environment where the player needs to build up a solid business (like the game ‘Jones’, if people remember the 90’s).
The main purpose of the game is to manage your air cargo business in a efficient, safe and reliable way. This means that, depending on the sort of cargo, it’s destination and the reputation of the trucker, you make decisions to either do the job or don’t and if there is a risk involved, that you manage that risk to your best ability (e.g. either employing specialist staff or having each shipment checked by Customs).

We also enclosed some minigames in the so-called ‘e-learning’ section where we challenge players on specific knowledge about exceptional situations and dilemma’s.

Besides this, we also included a badges system. The more efficient you are (planes leave the airport 100% full) or if you always check your cargo, you will receive badges and upgrades. The best thing to have in Air Cargo is an AEO status (Authorized Economic Operator) which means you are a reliable party within the chain.

And of course there is a leader board where you can check your score.

I challenge everyone to play the game and let me know what you think!

You can play it here:


The results of the first game where quite impressive by the way. There are about 2.000 people active in the Air Cargo sector around Schiphol airport and almost 1.300 of them played the game! That’s almost two-third of all people in the sector.

Apart from that we had 3.700 visits in four months time and a total of 184.000 page views!

Slide stairs at train station playful lifestyle


What a great way to gamify physical surroundings. A train station in The Netherlands build a slide next to stairs. Go visit Station Overvecht in Utrecht and experience it for yourself!

This is where life should be going! 😉

Gamification – Playful Lifestyle – A Slide!


Check out this great slide next to the stairs of a train station in The Netherlands (Utrecht Overvecht to be precise)… I will slide down later today, but it was wet when I was checking it out today and I did’n want to have a wet tush at the start of my day… hahaha. More 2 Come!

BrandNewGame on Gamification


Steam (the iTunes store for epic games) offers Free Games!


Steam – the online store for all ‘epic’ games like Call of Duty, R.U.S.E. and really many, many more will offer five F2P (Free to Play) Launch Titles Offering Exclusive Content to Celebrate Launch

Valve, creators of best-selling game franchises (such as Counter-Strike, Half-Life, Left 4 Dead, Portal, and Team Fortress) and leading technologies (such as Steam and Source), today introduced support for Free to Play (F2P) Games on Steam with the launch of five F2P games.

Available immediately, the launch titles are Spiral Knights, Forsaken Worlds, Champions Online: Free for All, Global Agenda: Free Agent, and Alliance of Valliant Arms (AVA). 

Beginning tomorrow (Weds) with Spiral Knights and concluding Sunday with AVA, each of the five launch titles will offer exclusive in-game content to those who try the “F2P game of the day” on Steam. In game transactions in all of the titles will be supported by Steam’s micro-transaction backend system that is available to Steamworks partners and currently used in Valve’s Team Fortress 2. 

“The introduction of Free to Play games is another example of the constant evolution of Steam,” said Jason Holtman, director of business development at Valve. “Free to Play games offer new game genres and game experiences for customers, while offering developers and publishers new revenue opportunities and the ability to reach customers in areas of the world where the traditional packaged goods model is less popular than F2P.” 

Specific details on the F2P games of the day and their exclusive in-game content will be made available in the coming days.

Steam is a leading platform for PC & Mac games and digital entertainment serving over 1,500 games to over 30 million active accounts worldwide. For more information, please visit

Gameful design & Gamification – an extensive presentation

Only 177 slides by a German called Sebastian Deterding from London…? 😉


Great presentation on Gamification – it’s not lipstick on a pig…

Skip the short intro, and jump to Chief Scientist JP Rangaswami from

Watch live streaming video from readwriteweb at

It really starts getting interesting after 20 minutes when he starts talking about the 4 drivers people have:

1. Acquire
2. Defend
3. Bond
4. Learn

And the way he sees these elements in game genres, divided in hearts, spades, diamonds and clubs.

I can see the following comparisons based on our most essential drivers:

1. Acquire (greed: posses, collect, own, badges)
2. Defend (need for safety: a roof over our heads, safety, clothing, protection, food, etc.)
3. Bond (social, sharing, relations, interaction, CRM, Cooperative gameplay, teams, network)
4. Learn (skills, competences, knowledge, developing personality, rewards, level-up, XP, progress, etc.)

A lot of inspiration for my next book and a job I am currently working on! 😉

Future States – a short film about a gamifying world…


A great shortfilm by David Kaplan and Eric Zimmerman about games, gamification and how it could intrude into our daily life. One thing is not correct though. We will always know when we are playing and when we are nog playing. Stepping in and out of the circle of play is eminent and makes us very conscious of gaming and not-gaming.

More information here:

Great Presentation about Gamification by Bunchball

>After reading their free whitepaper about gamification I found this presentation on Slideshare. I believe Bunchball is one of the agencies that ‘don’t believe the hype’ but have their own vision of how gamification can help brands to achieve their goals… level up and +10 points for Bunchball – they just unlocked the RESPECT badge for achieving their goal of convincing me they know what they’re talking about ;-)!