The odds of getting rich on the launch of a mobile game app are falling. Developers at one time counted on word-of-mouth to generate interest and sales. That smartphonegamerstrategy must now be enhanced with hefty marketing budgets and new partnerships if businesses want their games to stand out from the crowd.

The mobile game industry generated $2 billion in revenue last year. Games generally cost consumers between $0.99 and $2.99 to download, though some are free. Of course, developers have to pay a cut of the revenue to the online store the consumer makes a purchase from. These enterprises have other expenses, too, and need to sell a lot of games to cover the cost of bringing the product to market. Marketing each game can cost up to $5 million.

Industry experts say the launch period for a mobile game is nearly as important as for a movie or traditional video game. These enterprises are turning to merchandising partnerships to generate buzz. A recent Wall Street Journal article on this topic pointed out that ZeptoLab UK is readying the release of its new game, Cut the Rope: Time Travel. The launch will be accompanied by merchandise sales of t-shirts and toys and a partnership with Burger King.

To target younger action-oriented audiences, mobile game companies are running ads in movie theaters.  Other developers place ads in games that their target audience members are likely to play – a strategy which can cost between $1 and $2 for each download.  And, another key part of marketing includes videos placed on YouTube.

With the industry growing more competitive, it’s fascinating to see that mobile game marketers are turning to partnerships that include real-world goods to connect with their customers.

To learn more about Smartphone App Purchasers, check out the Audience Interests & Intent Report available on the Research Store at ad-ology.com.

[Source: Lessin, Jessica. Expenses Mount for New App Launches. Online.wsj.com. 17 Apr. 2013. Web. 29 Apr. 2013]