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Here's how much 'whales' spent so far this year

Here's how much 'whales' spent so far this year

May 23, 2013 | By Mike Rose

The top 1 percent of new players spending money on in-app purchases in mobile and web games account for around 33 percent of total spending, while the top 20 percent of spenders account for just over 90 percent of total mobile and web game spending.

That's according to social game analysis firm Playnomics. The company examined the spending behavior of more than 1.7 million web and mobile game players globally during the first quarter of 2013, and found that around 14,000 players chose to pay for in-app purchases in games -- roughly 0.77 percent.

As the graphs below show, that top 1 percent is also significantly skewed, with spending ranging from around $700 to as much as $7,400 from a single person. The company says that the results resemble "a power law distribution, where a small proportion of whales account for a large portion of total in game spend."

Note that these 1.7 million people surveyed were all "new" social game players -- that is, people who started playing social games within the first two weeks of Q1 -- and therefore as Playnomics points out, "Some of the players in our initial cohort of 1.7 million will likely monetize for the first time after Q1 2013, and some of our existing monetizers will likely keep spending beyond Q1 2013."

Elsewhere in the report, Playnomics found that the average session length per player was around 26.7 minutes, while players completed 5.9 game sessions on average.

Graphs from Playnomics - click to enlarge

And based on the results, players in Turkey have the highest level of engagement, with an average of 45.9 minutes per play session. Players in Japan showed the highest number of player sessions, with 22.5 per person.

The full Quarterly Player Engagement Study for Q1 of 2013 report can be found on the Playnomics website.

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