Simple games based on Adobe’s Flash technology have multiplied like weeds in recent years, with an estimated 100,000 of them available on the web, mostly for free. But a significant number of Flash game developers have moved from amateurs to pros; a survey shows that one in five Flash developers make more than $1,000 a month.
About 16 percent of those surveyed make more than $1,000 a month (the survey included 1,104 developers and publishers). The top 1 percent make more than $25,000 a month, according to the survey by Mochi Media.
That means that Flash games are becoming more than a hobbyist market, according to the San Francisco-based company, whose mission is to help Flash developers monetize their games through ads and virtual goods sales. The numbers of developers making money is a higher percentage than other fields such as blogging or music. The company’s first Flash Games Market Survey is the first comprehensive study of the demographics behind Flash developers.
About a third of Flash developers say they monetize their games in four different ways, including running ads or enabling micro-transactions so that players can buy virtual goods, such as extra weapons or decorative clothing. About 58 percent use ads wrapped around games; 43 percent use sponsors, and 25 percent get revenue from licensing, ads on web sites and creating custom games for brands.
The industry is relatively young. About two-thirds of developers said they started making games within the last two years, and 75 percent of game publishers started their web site game portals within the last two years, said Ada Chen, product marketing manager at Mochi Media.
According to comScore, more than a billion people play online games every month, with 100 million of them playing games monetized by Mochi Media’s ad network. About 2 percent of games are played more than 10 million times in their lives, according to the surveys. More than 30 percent are played fewer than 200,000 times.
About 70 percent of the developers said they make games part time. About 97 percent of developers are male and most of the respondents to the survey — which was in English — were in the U.S. and the United Kingdom. About 60 percent work on their own, 30 percent work in teams of two to five people, and the rest are part of bigger organizations. About 25 percent make games in less than a month, and 49 percent make games in one to three months.
The interviews were conducted in July in partnership with Adobe, Newgrounds, FlashGameLicense.com, and JayIsGames.