Mobile game ‘mortality rate’ hits 83% within three years

Mobile game ‘mortality rate’ hits 83% within three years Ryan is a senior editor at TechForge Media with over a decade of experience covering the latest technology and interviewing leading industry figures. He can often be sighted at tech conferences with a strong coffee in one hand and a laptop in the other. If it's geeky, he’s probably into it. Find him on Twitter (@Gadget_Ry) or Mastodon (

A new whitepaper titled “Good Games Don’t Die” reveals that 83 percent of launched mobile games fail within three years.

The study, conducted by revenue growth engine SuperScale, polled 500 developers across the US and UK to uncover issues plaguing the $96.2 billion mobile gaming industry.

The report unveils a catch-22 where 78 percent of developers prefer building new games despite a critical 43 percent failure rate during development alone.

This trend coincides with recent events like layoffs impacting 6,000+ developers in 2023 and a general decline in sector investment. 32 percent of surveyed studios confirmed conducting layoffs recently, with nearly 25 percent nearing full shutdown.  

Beyond financial implications, cancelled projects take a human toll ranging from demotivation to risk aversion. 30 percent of developers with under one year of experience reported creative unfulfillment after project cancellations.

“These are volatile times for the games industry…83% of games flat-lining in the first three years is an eye-opening statistic,” said Ivan Trancik, SuperScale CEO and Founder.

The study explores the potential in “legacy games” – titles no longer receiving updates or investment – which average 18 per studio portfolio. Suggested strategies like outsourcing tasks, measuring performance metrics, and updating monetisation models could unlock more value from good games labelled “dead.”

62 percent of developers currently leverage “LiveOps” systems in their most profitable games, 37 percent deploy weekly updates, and under 50 percent opt for monthly. This signals room for legacy title revival through consistent maintenance.  

“We believe there is an opportunity for the entire games industry to reflect on the incredible gaming content already created and take a second look at what can be done to inject new life into them,” Trancik concluded.

(Photo by Christophe Maertens on Unsplash)

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