Mobile gamers 6x more likely to pay in another game after initial in-app purchase, study says

Mobile gamers who complete an in-app purchase in one game are more likely to pay in another title, according to a new report from mobile game analytics provider SOOMLA.

The SOOMLA "Q1 2016 Mobile Gaming Insights" report of more than 20 million gamers worldwide revealed players who made an in-app purchase in one game are six times more likely to pay in another game. In addition, the report indicated quick payers (who completed their first in-app purchase within 24 hours of installing an app) are nine times more likely to pay in another game.

  • "Single use" goods (e.g. "save me," ammo, 30-second boost, etc.) account for 71 percent of all in-game purchases.

  • 65 percent of all mobile game revenue comes from "lifetime" goods (e.g. characters, level packs, remove ads, etc.), which cost $2.60 on average.

  • Over 40 percent of users who paid $25 or more in one game said they also would pay in another game.

  • For each in-game item users purchase with real currency, an average of 18 additional items are purchased with virtual currency.

SOOMLA payment probability after in-app purchases

(Source: SOOMLA Q1 2016 Mobile Gaming Insights)

The report also highlighted when mobile gamers are most active, indicating daily active users increase as much as 33 percent over weekends. This occurs primarily on smartphones, SOOMLA noted, although sessions on tablets often are longer.

How app developers target mobile gamers will play an important role in the mobile gaming sector going forward.

"Attracting payers to your game is like finding a needle in a haystack," SOOMLA CEO Yaniv Nizan said in a prepared statement

A recent study from The NPD Group showed there was a 57 percent increase in the number of mobile gamers from 2012 to 2014. However, the study also revealed mobile game players are primarily children who are rapidly moving away from traditional gaming platforms, a trend every mobile game developer needs to follow.

"In the past, the computer was considered the entry point for gaming for most kids, but the game has changed now that mobile has moved into that position," Liam Callahan, an industry analyst at The NPD Group, said in a prepared statement. "This may be related to a change in the behavior of parents that are likely utilizing mobile devices for tasks that were once reserved for computers."

Developing user-friendly mobile games remains pivotal for app developers, particularly in today's rapidly growing mobile gaming marketplace. 

The NPD Group reported the amount of money spent on digital games was $13 as of Sept. 2015, and two out of every 10 gamers indicated they are spending more on games and microtransactions than they were a year earlier.

App developers, meanwhile, can explore ways to design and deploy innovative mobile titles that garner gamers' attention. And by doing so, these developers can extend their global reach and offer fun, exciting titles that gamers of all ages will be able to enjoy. 

Related articles:
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Futureplay Games, Tapjoy, AppLovin explore using mobile video ads to transcend in-app purchase problems
The pros and cons of creating a 'premium' mobile game vs. F2P

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