Nearly 30% Of App Gamers Have Paid For Apps Or In-App Purchases

By Ishaan . October 11, 2012 . 2:30pm

Close to 30% of “app gamers” have either made an in-app purchase or upgraded from a free app to a paid version, the NPD Group reveal in their Mobile Gaming 2012 report, of which they sent out a preview this morning. The average price that these gamers feel represents good value for money is $3.


$3 may not seem like a lot of money spent for a single purchase, but you certainly won’t find companies like Finnish mobile games developer, Supercell, complaining about millions of app gamers spending $3 a piece. Supercell recently shared that two of their free games—Hay Day and Clash of Clans—make them $350,000 a day in revenue, after Apple have had their share of the iOS App Store royalties.


Not all app gamers spend equally, though. The NPD Group mention that gamers who game most often on a smartphone are not as likely to have made in-app purchases or upgrade to paid apps as those who play on tablets. Additionally, NPD add that 23% of app gamers play games only on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.


The reasons most commonly cited for the uptick in app gaming is the increase in free apps, followed closely by portability and convenience.


“Many mobile gaming consumers have grown accustomed to gaming for free, making it essential to find the sweet spot for pricing that encourages purchasing by as many consumers as possible,” said Liam Callahan, industry analyst at the NPD Group.


“Mobile game developers and publishers need to be able to maximize their opportunities by identifying ways to increase the number of gamers willing to upgrade their free apps or pay for in-app purchases, which currently stand at close to 30 percent. Another opportunity for the industry as a whole is to convert mobile-only gamers to engage in other gaming activities across portables, consoles and PC’s where we see more money being spent per user.”

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  • Damn, thats insane earnings…i Want to say i never paid for IAP, but that would be a lie.

    • Budgiecat

      I never did

  • Mrgrgr and Unacceptable World

    No wonder many game companies moves to mobile gaming here. Small spending but if it is succesful, they can bring more profit and without crazy critics there.

    • Barrit

      Some of those app users who leave reviews are pretty crazy. If an app is incompatible with their device, they’ll get mad and leave a 1 star lol.

      • Mrgrgr and Unacceptable World

        Yeah lol. This is especially a lot on Android market. But i mean, there are rarely complain about how the gameplay sucks, or the graphics is bad there which terrorize the consoles market.

        • Barrit

          Well I know there are still some sites that do reviews for mobile games.
          Destructoid did one today for an iOS game called Tiny Troopers and gave
          it a 5/10.

          A lot of mobile games are aimed at casual gamers and
          sometimes the games are just time wasters you play here and there when
          you have a few moments to spare. I know for me personally, my
          expectations of mobile games are just not set very high to start with.

          I think the price
          has the most to do with it though. If I only paid a few dollars for a
          mobile app vs. $60 for a day 1 console release, I’m less likely to
          complain/be disappointed over the mobile app if it sucks. If the mobile
          game was free, then I just won’t play it anymore and definitely not
          spend any money on in-game items. Can’t really complain in that case, it
          was free afterall. I just wouldn’t go out of my way to slam the company over a free to $3 game.

  • SpaceOfSoul

    Ha.. I’ve spent probably over $200 on in app purchases. All on one app, jubeat.

    • Barrylocke89

      Oh, jubeat is that rhythm game that’s been beating out DDR these days in the good ol’ JPN, isn’t it? Do you play on a phone or a tablet?

      • SpaceOfSoul

        Yup yup. I’m playing on iPad. I have no idea how people can play on such a tiny screen. My ipad has pretty much become my every day rhythm gaming device.
        Another I’ve spent probably a good $50 is reflec beat plus.

  • keithmaxx

    This is a billion-dollar industry folks, and that’s why we’re seeing less console or heavy-duty big-title games these days… which is good for the greater casual gaming society, I guess.

  • wahyudil

    once you go free, you will always free 

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