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NPD: 40% of freemium players pay for in-game upgrades

NPD: 40% of freemium players pay for in-game upgrades

April 23, 2012 | By Mike Rose

April 23, 2012 | By Mike Rose
More: Social/Online, Smartphone/Tablet, Business/Marketing

The latest report from the NPD Group has found that 40 percent of people who have played an upgradable freemium game have made an in-game payment to extend or enhance the experience.

The Insights into the Freemium Games Market report, which surveyed over 6,000 individuals including both children and adults, notes that women and girls are "significantly more likely" to play freemium games than men, yet are less likely than men to pay.

The NPD Group says that around 38 percent of the U.S. population currently plays some form of freemium gaming, with the majority of those players who opt to pay doing so within the first month of playing a particular game.

Therefore, says the NPD's Anite Frazier, it is important for developers to consider features that drive quick conversion to pay for players.

Elsewhere in the report, the group says that only 15 percent of gamers who are aware of freemium games choose not to play them, while a notable 84 percent of gamers who try freemium gaming will then stick with it.

However, while females are more likely to continue playing a freemium game after the initial try, males aged 13 to 34 are most likely to abandon freemium gaming entirely after trying it.

Frazier said that this is down to this age group for males being traditionally a large part of the core gamer audience, and therefore is less likely to find themselves engaged by freemium games, as they are quite different to what they expect from games.

"At a minimum, for these gamers a freemium game would provide a different experience, like a snack versus a full meal," she said.

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