Three of the ten most popular paid game Apps on iTunes are get this: retreads of old fashioned board games. The most popular paid App on iTunes is Monopoly which is Parker Brothers’ venerable real estate tycoon board game. As of January 6 it was the top paid game App on iTunes according to Gamasutra.com.
Part of the reason maybe its price 99¢ (64 pence in the UK) or the fact that is familiar to newcomers to electronic devices. Another reason might be that all the failed realtors and mortgage brokers in the US might need something do while they’re waiting for the next customer at their Wal-Mart cash register. Maybe they’re practicing for the next real estate bubble. There’s also the possibility that British users might be confusing the App for the popular Monopoly online fruit machine (slot machine in the US).
Other top iTunes games include Scrabble which is number 5 and the Game of Life. As I recall the Game of Life was a really boring Monopoly clone that was around while I was a kid. I didn’t know it still existed or that anybody cared about it. Apparently somebody does they’re even willing to pay 99¢ a pop for it.
So I guess the secret of making money in today’s world is to buy the rights to old board games and create versions of them to sell through the App Store. There’s even licensing opportunities there’s now a Toyota Prius piece in the Monopoly iPod game. If anybody can find a classic game that a big company doesn’t own the rights to they could make a fortune.
The only thing I’m surprised about is that Clue (Cludedo in the UK) isn’t in the top ten game Apps. Mainly because it isn’t available for iPhone yet. I’m sure it’s coming too. Oh and if you want to make money with that forget it, Parker Bros. also owns the rights to Clue.