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Mobile "Whales"

TheLizardbonesTheLizardbones Member CommonPosts: 10,910

This applies to mobile games, not our core F2P MMORPGs, but I think it's entirely possible that there is some cross over going on.  Basically, only 1.5% of people playing F2P mobile games admit to buying anything, and 0.15% of the mobile market actually pays for 50% of mobile revenues.  "Whales" indeed.  Also of note is that once the first purchase is made, a second purchase is often made soon after.  It's the first step that's a big one.

 

http://venturebeat.com/2014/02/26/only-0-15-of-mobile-gamers-account-for-50-percent-of-all-in-game-revenue-exclusive/

 

This might explain EA's methods used in their cash shop.  They know that very few people really want to pay anything for a game, so getting that first purchase in is really important.  It breaks some kind of barrier and leads to future purchases.  Games that don't rely on aggressive purchase plans will have very few spenders, and if they don't land any "whales", they aren't going to make money.

 

Again, this information is from the mobile market, but I think it's definitely something MMORPG developers are keeping an eye on.

 

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Here is the unavoidable "infographic".

 

I can not remember winning or losing a single debate on the internet.

Comments

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Member RarePosts: 14,247
    Originally posted by lizardbones

     

    Also of note is that once the first purchase is made, a second purchase is often made soon after.  It's the first step that's a big one.

    ...

    This might explain EA's methods used in their cash shop.  They know that very few people really want to pay anything for a game, so getting that first purchase in is really important.  It breaks some kind of barrier and leads to future purchases. 

     

     That's why many MMOs find some way to get 'free' cash shop points into the hands of new players. Browser games like EmpireCraft and the PBBG crowd will give you some cash to spend in a tutorial mission to have you spend it on a particular item in the cash shop. MOBAs do the same. MMORPGs will often have starter packs that include cash shop points that equal or exceed the price of the starter pack. 

    Games that don't rely on aggressive purchase plans will have very few spenders, and if they don't land any "whales", they aren't going to make money.

    Aggressive purchase plan may work in competitive games but it drives people away in many of the more casual games. The conversion is often driven more by reinforcing how much more cool/amazing/great the game will be if you just get [item/pack/bundle]... and it's one click away.  I'm not sure if the really aggressive paywalls (ex: very limited energy/turn units) really work much anymore. At least I hope they don't, as by now people really should be able to spot that as a red flag. 

     

     

    There isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to play, if you want to use a screwdriver to put nails into wood, have at it, simply don't complain when the guy next to you with the hammer is doing it much better and easier. - Allein
    "Graphics are often supplied by Engines that (some) MMORPG's are built in" - Spuffyre

  • TheLizardbonesTheLizardbones Member CommonPosts: 10,910
    Originally posted by Loktofeit
    Originally posted by lizardbones

     

    Also of note is that once the first purchase is made, a second purchase is often made soon after.  It's the first step that's a big one.

    ...

    This might explain EA's methods used in their cash shop.  They know that very few people really want to pay anything for a game, so getting that first purchase in is really important.  It breaks some kind of barrier and leads to future purchases. 

     

     That's why many MMOs find some way to get 'free' cash shop points into the hands of new players. Browser games like EmpireCraft and the PBBG crowd will give you some cash to spend in a tutorial mission to have you spend it on a particular item in the cash shop. MOBAs do the same. MMORPGs will often have starter packs that include cash shop points that equal or exceed the price of the starter pack. 

    Games that don't rely on aggressive purchase plans will have very few spenders, and if they don't land any "whales", they aren't going to make money.

    Aggressive purchase plan may work in competitive games but it drives people away in many of the more casual games. The conversion is often driven more by reinforcing how much more cool/amazing/great the game will be if you just get [item/pack/bundle]... and it's one click away.  I'm not sure if the really aggressive paywalls (ex: very limited energy/turn units) really work much anymore. At least I hope they don't, as by now people really should be able to spot that as a red flag. 

     

     

     

    You would think so.  It certainly drives me off.  At the same time, if I don't plan to spend any money, how much does it hurt that I've been driven off? 

     

    One thing that surprised me about the information was the fairly low amount of the average purchase.  A little under $6 doesn't sound like very much.  I know people who have spent $100 or more in these little mobile games.  I even posted about it here.  I don't think "Whales" are a myth so much as the reality is more outrageous than we've been lead to believe.

     

    I can not remember winning or losing a single debate on the internet.

  • CrazKanukCrazKanuk Member EpicPosts: 6,130
    Yeah, it's pretty crazy. I think that Candy Crush Saga rakes in like a million dollars a day. So, in comparison to just about any other game developer in the universe right now, they make more profit. However, they have like millions upon millions of users too, so it's easier to monetize when you've got that many people playing. 

    Crazkanuk

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