According to a VentureBeat story yesterday, covering the broad history of everyone's favorite puzzle game, there have been 70mil mobile phone versions of Tetris sold Worldwide by publisher EA Mobile, and its predecessor companies Jamdat (purchased Dec 2005 for $680mil) & Blue Lava (purchased by Jamdat Apr 2005 for $137mil), since it's launch on Sprint in August 2002. The VentureBeat story goes on to claim that Tetris still accounts for 10% of all mobile game purchases (wow!...more on this below). Based on the aggregate download information my estimate is that the title has probably generated just over $100mil each for the publisher & mobile operators (70mil x $2.99 x 50%). Does anybody think my (or VentureBeat's) numbers are wrong?...does anybody think any other mobile game has bigger numbers? If not, how do we feel about this being mobile gaming's benchmark? Is there any title (or franchise) that has the potential to be the next Tetris?
btw - if you believe the 10% claim then industry analysts (like Gartner & Juniper) must be greatly overestimating the size of the Worldwide market for mobile games...which most have between $4.5bil & $5.5bil for 2008. At 10% that would mean that Tetris would have generated $500mil in retail revenue or a bit over $250mil for EA. Wrong! Not only is that significantly more than Tetris has ever generated for its publishers lifetime, it's about 140% of EA Mobile's total 2008 Revenue (oops!). So assuming the analysts are wrong & the 10% is correct, and if Tetris generates (aggressively) 33% of EA Mobile's $181mil in 2008 revenues ($60mil or $120mil retail) then the entire 2008 mobile games market may really be worth just over $1bil.