The mobile app industry is booming, with global revenue from app stores projected to hit $25 billion this year and $46 billion by 2016.
Top-grossing games are all free downloads that convince people to pay real money for in-game boosts. On top of the pile is Clash of Clans, which was earning $654,000 a day in February, helping maker Supercell to a $3 billion valuation.
There are other ways that apps make money too. There are paid apps, the highest-grossing of which is Minecraft — Pocket Edition, coming in 30th. And then there are also successful non-game apps, like Pandora, which offer an upgrade to a better service for a one-time or recurring in-app purchase. Apple typically gets a 30% cut of purchases made in its app store.
We've pulled together today's 15 highest-grossing games in Apple's App Store using data from App Annie and estimated average daily revenue and new daily users from Think Gaming. Think Gaming pulls together data from the past 18 months and updates its estimates on a daily basis.15. The Sims FreePlay
Estimated daily revenue: $68,213
What it is: The Sims FreePlay lets you create up to 32 characters, design homes, and play out your Sims' lives. When you complete certain goals you earn lifestyle points that you can spend on fun items.
How it makes money: If you don't want to earn those lifestyle points through game play, you can purchase the currency, along with Simoleons and Social Points. These can be used to buy objects and skills.
Who makes it: Electronic Arts has been around since 1982 and has 9,000 employees around the world. Some if its more popular games are The Sims, Madden NFL, FIFA Soccer, Need for Speed, Battlefield, and Mass Effect.
Top in-app purchase: $19.99 for a carload of life points
Estimated daily new users: 18,429
14. myVEGAS Slots
Estimated daily revenue: $71,921
What it is: myVEGAS Slots is a virtual slot machine that lets users win real rewards from resort and entertainment partners, including Bellagio, ARIA, MGM Grand, Cirque du Soleil, and Wolfgang Puck.
How it makes money: It makes money like a real casino by charging for chips.
Who makes it: PlayStudios was founded in 2011 and employs 64 people. According to the company, there are 56 million people playing its mobile and web games.
Top in-app purchase: $99.99 for slots jackpot chips
Estimated daily new users: 17,844
13. Marvel War of Heroes
Estimated daily revenue: $75,777
What it is: Marvel War of Heroes is the official mobile card battle game from the Marvel Universe, featuring Spider-Man, Hulk, Iron Man, and other characters.
How it makes money: Impatient users of this highly addicting game spend money to refill their character energy meters, which deplete when a character is used and refill only slowly on their own.
Who makes it: Mobage published the game along with Marvel Entertainment and Cygagames, the creators of popular app Rage of Bahamut. Mobage is a gaming network and one of the biggest mobile publishers.
Top in-app purchase: $99.99 for a crate of 11,000 gold
Estimated daily new users: 500
12. The Hobbit: Kingdoms of Middle-earth
Estimated daily revenue: $79,758
What it is: The Hobbit: Kingdoms of Middle-earth lets Lord of the Rings fans create their own Middle-earth kingdom. Users are dropped into the feud between elves and dwarves while challenged to fight off the goblins. The app is featured in one spot on the iTunes home page and has an average rating of 4.2 stars.
How it makes money: Users can spend real money to get more Mithril currency.The items you can buy with Mithril are also randomly given out once a day from Gollum's Riddle, but users can save time by buying more Mithril whenever they want.
Who makes it: Kabam was valued at $700 million last summer and is well known for games like Kingdoms of Camelot and The Fast & Furious 6: The Game. The company earned $360 million in revenue last year and has 800 employees worldwide. Its games are played in more than 100 countries.
Top in-app purchase: $99.99 for 1,600 Mithril
Estimated daily new users: 500
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
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