Research shows that players of free mobile games are more transient than previously thought and hardly spend any money on in-app purchases. This is the outcome of a comprehensive study by Swrve, an American company and leader in relationship marketing for mobile apps.
The U.S. company followed ten million mobile gamers on thirty games in its network over the course of ninety days. The research started in November last year. All the players.
The researchers found out that 19% of the new players used the game only once and 66% gave up after a day. 46% of all in-appwere new to the games being played.
These figures prove that retention and monetization are two of the biggest challenges for any free-to-play game developer. They may even be more challenging than previously believed. Swrve’s interest in both subjects comes from its core business argument; that rigorous app testing and user segmenting can improve retention and monetization.revenue came from .22% of player base and on average just 45 cents was spent in the app. The app only earned money in the first 7 days.
CEO Hugh Reynolds stated in an interview with Re/Code that the report was a, “word of caution around user acquisition”. Not only is the total number of downloads important according to the CEO, but also the engagement users have with the game after it has been downloaded. Reynolds also referred to the importance of the first impression gamers have, “If it’s going to be effective, it needs to be effective quick”.
The results of the study do not seem to be consistent with the huge turnovers that individual titles make. Games like Clash of Clans for the iOS platform raised a billion dollars and Candy Crush Saga over eight hundred thousand dollars.
Apparently these two examples are exceptions to the rule that free mobile apps prove to be a challenge when it comes to retention and monetization. Most of the free games aren’t capable of impressing players enough to keep their minds focused on playing and make the highly favorable in-app purchases.