It's all in the deck placement

The positioning on carrier decks can make or break a mobile game title. So says a new report which said that publishers that grab the best shelf space on carrier decks to show off their merchandise are rewarded with a significant bump in downloads and revenues.

The study by Telephia, a provider of syndicated consumer research to telecom and mobile media markets, was conducted during the last quarter of 2006 and analyzed the relationship between deck placement and sales for a broad sample of mobile game titles.

The report, titled "Mobile Game Merchandising", showed that mobile games promoted on a carrier's "New, Featured or Best Seller" decks saw 90% more downloads than when those same games were not promoted.

Furthermore, the research said titles that got top shelf placement on the first page of the carrier's deck achieved 53% more downloads than when those titles appeared on subsequent pages of the deck. 

Telephia said it arrived at the analysis after collecting both deck placement data and title-level sales data.

"On-deck game downloads accounted for 74% of mobile game revenues in Q3 2006. Given the limited real estate on the mobile screen and the difficulty of driving consumer trial, getting top shelf placement is the number 1 priority for game publishers," said Kanishka Agarwal, vice president of mobile content at Telephia.

As the top mobile game publisher, with 29% share of all revenues in third quarter of 2006, it's not surprising to find EA Mobile as the top publisher on "Sprint's What's Hot" deck, which features best selling games, said Telephia.

According to the research firm, EA Mobile's titles secured a 39% share of the first page on "Sprint's What's Hot" deck during the last six months of 2006. They were followed by Gameloft, Namco, Hands-On Mobile and Glu Mobile.

In comparison, on the first page of "Sprint's What's New" deck, Gameloft titles led with a 26% share of shelf, followed by Digital Chocolate, Glu Mobile, Vivendi Games and SkyZone Entertainment.