83% of Mobile Games Die in 3 Years; 43% Are Killed During Development Stage, Says Study


LONDON, UK (November 27, 2023) – According to SuperScale’s white paper Good Games Don’t Die, which was published last week (23), 83% of all games that are launched are terminated within 3 years of release, while 43% of games are killed during the development stage. The paper claims that these numbers clearly highlight significant issues that are prevalent in today’s mobile game development arena.

The results of the study are based on interviews carried out with 500 game developers from the UK and USA and reveals despite the critically high failure rate, 78% of mobile game developers prefer to work on new titles in the $ 96.2 billion international mobile gaming industry.

Trends such as the pressures of global recession, the redundancy of 6,000+ developers in 2023, along with a general downturn in investment throughout the sector are highlighted in the report, where 32% of developers claimed to have conducted layoffs and almost a quarter almost shut down their businesses.

The report also highlights the human impact of this high failure rate, ranging from the loss of motivation, risk aversion and increased commercial focus. Creative unfulfillment from cancellations was reported by 30% of junior developers who had less than one year of experience in the field.

Ivan Trancik, CEO and founder of SuperScale, commented: “These are volatile times for the games industry. Many mobile game developers are finding it hard to remain profitable in the face of challenges such as ATT, heavy competition in a mature mobile market, and macroeconomic conditions like high inflation. 83% of games are flat-lining in the first three years is an eye-opening statistic, which indicates a new mindset is needed within the industry. Findings from the ‘Good Games Don’t Die’ white paper serve as a wake-up call for the industry, a source of inspiration with actionable data; equipping developers and publishers with insight on how revenue can be maximised across their portfolio – for games both new and old.” 

He added: The art and business of making games is often borne from a place of indescribable passion, and not always for pure commercial gain. We believe there is an opportunity for the entire games industry to reflect on the incredible gaming content that has already been created, and to take a second look at what can be done to inject new life into them.”