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


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.”

Ishaan Sahdev
Ishaan specializes in game design/sales analysis. He's the former managing editor of Siliconera and wrote the book "The Legend of Zelda - A Complete Development History". He also used to moonlight as a professional manga editor. These days, his day job has nothing to do with games, but the two inform each other nonetheless.