The planet's two largest mobile games publishers have announced their financial results for the fourth quarter of 2007, thus giving us a chance to see how they fared over the whole year.
With EA Mobile and Gameloft headquartered in the US and France respectively, we've had to do some converting from Euros to dollars to make a direct comparison, but the scores on the doors show that…
EA Mobile is still the top mobile games publisher, generating $144 million of revenues in the whole of 2007. However, check how close Gameloft was: it generated €96.1 million, which at today's exchange rate comes in at $143 million.
In the fourth quarter, Gameloft actually out-earned EA Mobile, generating $38.4 million (€25.8 million) of revenues to EA's $38 million – although note, EA rounds its figures to the nearest million, so it's possible it could have been a dead heat.
Fundamentally then, these results show that the two publishers are neck and neck, which is good news for us gamers, since it'll act as a spur (hopefully) for better games and more innovation from both companies in 2008.
What do they tell us about the mobile games industry though?
Well, taking the full-year figures first, in 2006 EA Mobile generated $118 million of revenues from mobile games, meaning it saw growth in 2007 of 22 per cent. Meanwhile, in 2006 Gameloft trousered $102 million, meaning its growth in 2007 was a staggering 40 per cent.
And, looking at the fourth quarter alone, EA's growth year-on-year from 2006 to 2007 was 8.5 per cent, while Gameloft enjoyed a healthier spurt of 19 per cent.
In short, EA Mobile is only just hanging onto its top dog status, while Gameloft has been growing much faster – raising the prospect it will overtake its fierce rival in 2008.
If you'd like to root through both companies' financial results for yourself, go here (EA) and here (Gameloft).