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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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  • Re:0.15% vs 1.5% (Score:5, Insightful)

    by FuzzyDustBall ( 751425 ) on Friday February 28, 2014 @03:10PM (#46369547)
    1.5%* Top 10% is 0.15%... which is what the title is referring to. Please read full summary before ripping title.
  • Re:0.15% vs 1.5% (Score:5, Insightful)

    by paiute ( 550198 ) on Friday February 28, 2014 @03:11PM (#46369551)
    Only 1.5% spend any money. 1 in 10 of those spend 50% of all the monies. So 0.15% spend 50%.

    Were you told there would be no math? RTFS and DTFM.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 28, 2014 @03:21PM (#46369643)

    A person who spend 10,000$ a month on a game has a problem and someone who's trying to exploit someone's problem in order to become rich is nothing but a thief. The man behind that company should be put behind bars.

  • Re:$10,000?!? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CanHasDIY ( 1672858 ) on Friday February 28, 2014 @03:21PM (#46369645) Homepage Journal

    Here I am, trying to sell the Golden Gate Bridge on the street and I could be selling it in a game.

    I've got to get caught up on synergies of new technology, to coordinate my vision of business core-competencies with the emerging paradigm.

    I was thinking the same thing; we should collaborate, make our own game that's nothing but microtransactions...

  • Re:$10,000?!? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 28, 2014 @03:28PM (#46369711)

    I like the two ignorant assumptions in your post.

    1.) People who spend lots of money on in-app purchases don't have a family.

    2.) To be rewarded in life, you have to have a spouse and join the ranks of the mindless breeders.

    Fuck you.

  • Re:iapcracker (Score:4, Insightful)

    by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Friday February 28, 2014 @03:36PM (#46369825) Homepage

    Any time I "buy" all the microtransaction purchases, I feel like I'm cheating.

    I've found many of the new crop of mobile games are more or less set up that unless you're buying the stuff in the game, you'll never get anywhere.

    I've seen a few games which let you play once or twice/day unless you buy something. I've seen games where it would take an infinite amount of time to earn the things needed in the game.

    I have two tests for a new game I've downloaded:

    1) Put the phone into airplane mode and turn off wifi -- if the game complains it can't connect to a server, uninstall it, because it it can't work on a plane I don't care.

    2) Check if the game immediately starts suggesting you go to their store in order to be useful -- if it looks like you'll never get anywhere without buying the baubles, uninstall it.

    I find many many games seem to be built for the sole purpose of advertising and selling in-game stuff. Which is why I only play games in airplane mode with no connectivity, and something which has caused me to uninstall a lot of them after under 5 minutes.

    It is amazing how many apps which should require no internet connectivity insist on it -- and I'm sure that's not about anything other than trying to get them revenue, which I have no intention of providing them with in the first place.

  • by squiggleslash ( 241428 ) on Friday February 28, 2014 @04:00PM (#46370047) Homepage Journal

    You're not really helping your case. Gambling, is, actually subject to a massive amount of regulation precisely because it's the kind of thing that people endup losing their shirts because of a combination of rather normal (that is, most people in the same position would misjudge the odds) poor judgement on their part, and predatory behavior on the parts of others. Casinos and bookies have long been subject to heavy regulation where they are legal, and are outright banned in much of the world.

    On the other hand, Bitcoins aren't regulated yet, so there's that.

  • by smooth wombat ( 796938 ) on Friday February 28, 2014 @04:19PM (#46370225) Journal
    she'd spent something on the order of $400 playing Candy Crush. That amount floored me... I couldn't believe anyone would do that!

    But it's okay if someone spends the same amount of money on a video card, camera lens, monitor or anything else they want to spend the money on, right?

    Just because you wouldn't spend that much money on a game doesn't mean others won't. How much money did you spend (if you're old enough to have done so) on video games growing up? I would be willing to bet you easily spent that much enjoying yourself playing games.

"No, no, I don't mind being called the smartest man in the world. I just wish it wasn't this one." -- Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias, WATCHMEN