For every overpriced Final Fantasy re-release on iTunes there are dozens of free-to-play social games, refugees from a slowly fading Facebook love affair with microtransaction-driven casual titles finding new sources of revenue in the fertile mobile market. In this year's list of the top grossing iOS games and apps (available within iTunes), the free-to-play game is king.
Not one paid game in the top ten. In fact, the first paid game in the list, the Pictionary-inspired sensation Draw Something, comes in at number 16 on a list dominated by games you may have never heard of. Take Kingdoms of Camelot: Battle for the North, a kingdom-building strategy game that took the number one position this year. The top in-app purchase is a bundle of 240 gems for $19.99. While others quibble over the $15.99 price tag of a remastered classic role-playing game, thousands are dropping more on virtual items within a game with a much less prestigious pedigree.