Guys spend more time in-game

By : |January 2, 2012 0

BANGALORE, INDIA: Which age group was shelling out the most cash in freemium mobile games?

According to a survey by Flurry, an mobile application analytics company, Guys spend more time in-game almost across the board (especially in the 25-34 age range), but the difference is consistently ever-so-slight.

Previous data has already suggested that the vast majority of people spending time in-game (regardless of sex) are under 35.

Flurry looked at this topic from a number of ways. First up: who spends the most time in freemium games? Which sex is most dedicated to tending their virtual farms for carrots they can never eat?

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Starting on the left-hand-side, the green bars represent which age groups spend the most time playing freemium games.  We see that ages 18 — 24 account for the most minutes spent, 32 per cent, followed by ages 25 — 34 who represent 29 per cent of usage.  Ages 13 — 17, 35 — 54 and 55+ then account for the rest of usage time at 22 per cent, 14 per cent and 3 per cent, respectively.  The average age of the consumer, based on time spent, is 26.6 years old.

Next to the green bars, in blue, the amount of money these same consumers spend on in-app-purchases within the same set of games is shown.    The top spending group is 25 — 34 years old, accounting for 49 per cent of total dollars spent, next followed by 35 — 54 year olds at 28 per cent.  By contrast, the most dedicated users of these games in terms of time, the 18 — 24 year olds, rank only third in terms of money spent, generating 16 per cent of IAP revenue.  13 — 17 year olds, a popular target audience of these games, account for only 5 per cent of revenue.   Finally, the 55+ age group delivers 2 per cent of revenue.  The average age of consumers who spend money in these games is 32.2 years old.

Broadly, Flurry observes that heavy users of freemium games are younger, while spenders in freemium games are older.  The half that uses these games most, 13 — 24 year olds (55 per cent of time spent), deliver only 21 per cent of the revenue.  And the half that spends heavily, 25 — 34 year olds (49 per cent of money spent), represent just 29 per cent of usage. 

Flurry said it believes that much of this has to do with play patterns, disposable income and relative available time.

In social games, consumers can advance in the game through “the grind,” the core set of gameplay activities that allows the user to level up, earn in-game currency and progress.  But to progress via “the grind” takes time and patience.  For consumers that have more time (or less money), they can afford (or must be) more patient.  Younger gamers, presumably high school and college-aged, likely have more time but less money.  So the grind is something they’re willing or must commit to, in order to progress.   And with more total available time throughout their days, they can play more frequently.   Simply put, they become your loyal users, but it’s harder to extract money from them.

On the other hand, 24 — 35 year olds presumably have more disposal income, but less time, due to work and family demands.  This combination makes them less tolerant to engaging in “the grind,” but also better positioned to buy their way out of it.  They play less often, but make quicker progress by simply spending. Further, when we expand the age range to 24 — 54, this older group generates nearly four-fifths of all revenue in freemium games. 

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