Mobile games have come a long, long way since they first started to appear on the iPhone and early Android devices. Not just in terms of graphics and the sort of games that we play, but also in how we pay for these games and how developers and publishers make their money. For a long time now, the freemium model, that is offering an app for free but asking for an in-app purchase to add in extra features, thus getting a premium experience. This is the sort of model that the majority of leading titles follow, such as Candy Crush, Clash of Clans and more. In a new report however, it seems that just 0.19% of all mobile gamers make up for half of all revenue generated by mobile games.
These new figures come from engagement firm Swrve, who also discovered that in the first month, 64% of players make just one in-app purchase, compared to 19% making two, and then just 6.5% making three purchases. It appears as though gamers looking to spend money in-game do so infrequently and only once or twice, if that. Swrve discovered that users will make just 1.8 in-app purchases, averaging $13.82 per purchase – itself a new high. To combat this, Swrve tells developers that they should target more sales beyond the first month after the install. The idea of in-app purchases is not just to sell people on the game right out of the gate, but rather to keep them coming back for more. One way that that developers could achieve this is by only offering smaller amounts of in-game currency and such, forcing players to continually purchase more, rather than buying a lot and then not needing any more.
These figures were put together from over six billion events that Swrve monitored during the month of February. Even though it might seem as though the mobile gaming market is struggling, the average amount spent per purchase has gone up, and gamers are still willing to pay for these in-app purchases. The real test now is whether or not developers and publishers can find better ways of getting people to continue purchasing beyond the first month or two.