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July 25, 2021
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3 Methods of Paying Audience Segmentation

by Eugene Matveev on 06/01/20 10:25:00 am

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.


The main goal of any F2P game is earning money (yes, I know that creativity plays a big role too, but let’s be honest), and in this article, I’m going to talk about various segmentations focused on money.

Total Payments

I believe that we all are familiar with whales, dolphins, and minnows. This is the basic segmentation representing heavy, medium, and light spenders. In fact, there are two more types (or subtypes, if you wish) - grand whales and grand dolphins, but not every analytics system provides such a detailed representation of users.

Who are those aquatic animals? If you spend $1 a month, you are without any doubt a minnow. If you want to upgrade your status and become a “bigger fish”, you need to spend more money. But how much more?  In fact, this is quite subjective and depends on a developer’s in-house agreement.

Uer segmentation in game

     devtodev analytics screenshot

If you have a good understanding of your audience, you can use your expertise to draw the line between groups. For example, you can decide that players who pay (a month):

  • more than $2000 are grand whales,

  • between $1000 and $1999 are whales,

  • between $100 and $500 are dolphins,

  • between $501 and $999 are grand dolphins,

  • less than $99 are minnows

All of this is highly subjective and depends on your decision and your game.

There is a bit more objective method of paying users segmentation that is based on the quintile allocation. All you need to do is to sort your users in descending order with respect to the income they bring to the project, and then divide them, for example, this way:

  • top 1% are grand whales,

  • 2 - 10% are whales,

  • 11 - 25% are grand dolphins,

  • 26 - 60% are dolphins,

  • less than 60% are minnows.

The percentage here is also subjective.

Why do you need to segment players? Because 20% of users give you 80% of income, and that means that you need to keep an eye on the whales (and dolphins to a lesser extent) and make sure that they stay in your game.

Number of Payments

Devtodev analytics

     devtodev analytics screenshot

First up you need to divide players into those who made just one payment and those who made two and more payments. It’s important to work with the two groups separately.

You need to find out the reasons why players from the first group don’t make more payments, eliminate the cause, and move those people into the second group.

Players from the second group are ready to pay on a regular basis and your main job here is to prompt them to make larger and more frequent payments.

Time of Payment

Time from installation to payment

     devtodev analytics screenshot

Do your users make payments on the day of installation? Or they need more time to understand your game’s value? You can plan various activities based on this data.

If most of your users pay on day 2 or 3 or even later, you need to think of a way to make them pay on the first day because the vast majority of players leave the project within the first couple of days and never return.

Segmentation of users is crucial for any game. If you segment your players, you can understand their pains much better. And after you fix the problems, they will be happy and will definitely pay you back!

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