iPhone, iPad Gaming Soaring as iOS Sees Over 5 Million Games Downloaded Per Day in West

By James Brightman

iPhone gaming has certainly accelerated in the last year or so, and iOS in general has seen a boost from iPod Touch and iPad as well. The numbers are impressive, as new research from Newzoo and Distimo (an App Store analytics firm) shows that games now represent the largest single App-category on Apple App Stores, and account for half of the downloads of both free and paid Apps.

Newzoo said that more than five million games were downloaded per day in the U.S. and six major European territories combined during March 2011. There are 63 million iOS gamers in these countries who downloaded an average of 2.5 games per month.

Importantly for the app ecosystem, in-game purchases within free and paid games are on the rise as well. Newzoo found that more than 40% of total money spent was from in-game purchases and this figure is expected to surpass upfront payments for games in the second half of 2011.

Newzoo is able to provide this information as part of a new partnership with Distimo to provide monthly data on game sales and downloads across all Apple App Stores. The countries included at launch are U.S., U.K., Germany, France, Spain, The Netherlands and Belgium.