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Japan twice as good as U.S. at monetizing mobile players

The latest report from mobile analytics outfit App Annie shows that when it comes to average revenue per user (ARPU), Japan is leading the way -- and by quite some margin.

The latest report from mobile analytics outfit App Annie shows that when it comes to average revenue per user (ARPU), Japan is leading the way -- and by quite some margin.

After analyzing the top 30 iPhone games by revenue in Japan, China, the U.S., South Korea, and the UK, App Annie found that the average ARPU of the Japanese top 30 for Q2 2016 was double that of the other four countries. 

Notably, 22 of those 30 games fell into the RPG category, while the gacha mechanic -- which sees users drop cash for the chance to win a rare item or collectable -- was also a prominent feature among Japan's top earners. 

Thanks to an upturn in smartphone penetration, coupled with the performance of MMORPGs based on established franchises, China's monthly APRU has also soared, increasing tenfold since Q2, 2014. 

Growth in the U.S. hasn't been quite as spectacular, but it's worth noting that strategy and RPG titles are pulling in the highest average ARPU's in the States. 

Overall, all five regions have seen an positive shift in APRU since Q2 2014, which, according to App Annie, shows that "games with high APRU are becoming more prominent among the top-revenue generators."

"High APRU is not necessarily a prerequisite for success. As casual game hits have shown, even games with relatively low ARPU can become high-grossing titles," adds the analytics group. 

"However, this does not detract from the metric's importance. Any publisher whose game monetizes through the app stores should keep a close eye on their ARPU, and that of their competitors."

For a more detailed APRU breakdown, you can download the complete App Annie report right here

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