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Study: Half of In-App Purchases Come From Only 0.15% of Players 144

An anonymous reader writes "Have you ever seen a goofy microtransaction for a mobile game you play and wondered, 'Does anyone actually buy that junk?' As it turns out, few players actually do. A new study found that only 1.5% of players actually spend money on in-app purchases. Of those who do, more than 50% of the money is spent by the top 10%. 'Some game companies talk openly about the fact that they have whales, but others shy away from discussing them publicly. It costs money to develop and keep a game running, just like those fancy decorations and free drinks at a casino; whales, like gambling addicts, subsidize fun for everyone else.' Eric Johnson at Re/code says he talked to a game company who actually assigned an employee to one particular player who dropped $10,000 every month on in-app purchases." Meanwhile, in-app purchases have come to the attention of the European Commission, and they'll be discussing a set of standards for consumer rights at upcoming meetings. They say, 'Games advertised as "free" should not mislead consumers about the true costs involved.'
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Study: Half of In-App Purchases Come From Only 0.15% of Players

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  • by TiggertheMad ( 556308 ) on Friday February 28, 2014 @03:35PM (#46369809) Homepage Journal
    This is kind of an interesting number. I have have found a vast majority of the mobile games to be utter trash, that attempt to cash in on in game purchases while failing to implement a set of solid basic game mechanics. I would gladly drop $30 (or more) just to play a good mobile game that wasn't a poorly concealed slot machine. I wonder if the general shitty state of mobile gaming is causing a disproportionate number of players to not spend cash, or it is just the nature of people being cheap when it comes to 'free' apps. ('I am not going going to spend money on a game that is free', or 'I am not going to pay to win')

    As an aside, the 'Freemium' model is really the scourge of the industry right now, with devs looking for easy ways to extract more money from the player base while providing no real product in return.There are a few people who do it right (WoT, LoL, and TF, for example) and a huge pack of greedy shills who are following in their footsteps.

    A lot of the free to play model games basically let you pay to win, does this 0.15% number line up with the percent of the general population that is incapable of delaying gratification? I bet you could correlate this number with the result of some psychology study on the topic.....
  • Re:0.15% vs 1.5% (Score:4, Informative)

    by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Friday February 28, 2014 @03:41PM (#46369863) Homepage

    There's actually two different numbers at play here:

    In a mobile monetization report released today, app testing firm Swrve found that in January, half of free-to-play gamesâ(TM) in-app purchases came from 0.15 percent of players. Only 1.5 percent of players of games in the Swrve network spent any money at all.

    So, half of all spending comes from 0.15% of all players, and only 1.5% of all players spent anything (and make up the other half of spending).

    The rest of us refuse to hand over money for whatever in-game gimmick you have implemented which makes the game suck without it and end up uninstalling the damned game.

Exceptions prove the rule, and wreck the budget. -- Miller