Gamasutra: The Art & Business of Making Gamesspacer
View All     RSS
August 23, 2014
arrowPress Releases
August 23, 2014
PR Newswire
View All

If you enjoy reading this site, you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites:

Half of all F2P mobile game revenue comes from 0.22% of players - report
Half of all F2P mobile game revenue comes from 0.22% of players - report
April 9, 2014 | By Mike Rose

April 9, 2014 | By Mike Rose
More: Smartphone/Tablet, Business/Marketing

Mobile app analytics platform Swrve has released a new report that delves into the spending habits of free-to-play mobile game players, with more than 10 million players tracked over the course of 90 days.

As reported by Recode, the report found that 66 percent of all these people stopped playing after just 24 hours of picking up a new game, while 19 percent only opened their respective games a single time before deciding to bow out.

Meanwhile, the average amount spent by these 10 million+ players over the course of those 90 days was just 45 cents, and only 2.2 percent actually spent any money at all.

In line with previous data from Swrve, the company noted that 46 percent of revenue came from the top 10 percent of this 2.2 percent -- that means that nearly half of all the revenue taken came from just 0.22 percent of players tracked.

Amazingly, these figures are actually an improvement on the previous 90 day period, for which Swrve reported 0.15 percent of players generated roughly 50 percent of all IAP revenue.

Notably, the report also states that 53 percent of all spending happened during the first week of the 90 day period, suggesting that even whale spending drops off pretty rapidly.

Update: Clarified that Swrve's report was specifically on free-to-play mobile games.

Related Jobs

Raven Software / Activision
Raven Software / Activision — Madison, Wisconsin, United States

Sr. Software Engineer (Gameplay)
AtomJack — Seattle, Washington, United States

Level Designer
FarSight Studios
FarSight Studios — Big Bear Lake, California, United States

Lead Android Engineer
Churchill Navigation
Churchill Navigation — Boulder, Colorado, United States

3D Application Programmer


G Irish
profile image
Those are some stone cold sad numbers but I think a key piece of data is what games these people are playing. If that 66% that is quitting a game after 24 hours is primarily downloading free shovelware, that's not a surprising number at all. Same deal with the revenue per user numbers.

I know even for the most well-crafted games the numbers are pretty depressing but I think that the sheer volume of garbage in the mobile ecosystem makes things look more dire than they actually are.

Ferdinand Joseph Fernandez
profile image
Generally, I don't think nickel and diming is sustainable in the first place. Most people have wised up, big surprise.

Joe McGinn
profile image
Just wishful thinking I'm afraid. Look at the revenue numbers for Android and Apple, it has gone almost entirely F2P in all regions. That is just a fact. There's no sign of it reversing.

Greg Scheel
profile image
@ McGinn

At 30% of everyone else's revenue, of course the numbers for Google and Apple look great. However, the total lack of curation has allowed and enabled the heap of shovelware, and the vast majority of customers have the good sense not to pay for it.

Damir Slogar
profile image
Very misleading. Title speaks of 'all mobile game revenue' while in fact Swrve is mainly used in F2P games that monetize through IAP. On the top of that, there is no mention of alternative revenue sources (offwewalls, ads, etc.) that also significantly contribute to overall mobile revenue and as they are often geared towards the non paying users their effect on revenue goes totally against the conclusion in the title.

Joe McGinn
profile image
Also missing is any breakdown of kind of game, platforms, and players ... is it the same for Candy Crush as for League of Legends? I doubt it.

Will Luton
profile image
I wrote a response to this here:

I believe this top line figure is misleading.

Peter Thierolf
profile image
Sorry Will, but your math is wrong.

16,513 players of a 10m population is 0.16513 %. Which also is a lot more reasonable than your magically growing numbers, if you even assume cross-over. Dividing the population to spread them over games, than multiplying that number, than multiplying with the number of games does not change the magnitude of that same number.

Ken Love
profile image
Is this really any big surprise to anyone?

Curtiss Murphy
profile image
I see conversion rates of 2.2%, 1.4%, and 0.5%, which is in line with the industry standard 1-3%. Once you are starting with 2% of anything, it's obvious the rest of things are going to look very, very small.

Ad revenue is also quite small - the value comes from LARGE numbers of users, just as it does with IAP's.

These aren't the interesting statistics you were looking for. You can go about your business. Move along.

Gregory Booth
profile image
"These aren't the interesting statistics you were looking for. You can go about your business. Move along. "

...and get back to developing an awesome game! Now! :D