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Hardly pocket change: Mobile gamers spend an average of $87 on in-app purchases

by Taylor Stanton - February 23, 2019

Image credit: Pexels

There’s a reason why free-to-play games have major advertising campaigns: it turns out,  users spend a lot via in-app purchases. Slice Intelligence just revealed that people who bought products in mobile video games last year spent an average of $87 dollars on their “free-to-play” games. This redefines how we view hardcore gamers: people who purchase games for traditional consoles and PCs spend only $5 dollars more on average on their gaming entertainment. 

High-stakes mobile gaming: Game of War players spend $550 on gold, mostly

Most of us think of hardcore video gamers as those paying extravagantly for immersive and complex games, but data shows that mobile gamers are in fact the big spenders.  The mobile game with the largest average in-app spend is Game of War, where players spend, on average, $550 dollars to insure their army conquers the competition. What do Game of War gamers buy? Crates of gold, with the average item price hovering at $52 dollars.

Data on gaming purchases offers further insights into gaming behavior by platform. Most people spend on only either mobile or PC and console games, with the majority buying only mobile games. About one fifth--19 percent--of gamers purchase games for both.

10 percent of mobile gamers account for 90 percent of revenue from in-app purchases

Our analysis validated the existence of mobile gaming "whales".  Data shows that only 10 percent of the mobile in-game purchasing population accounts for 90 percent of mobile gaming sales. Further listening to the statical sonar reveals that the top one percent, the "white whales", of mobile gamers account for an astonishing 58 percent of the mobile gaming revenue from in-app purchases. This trend doesn't occur among  traditional games, where roughly 28 percent of the audience accounts for 90 percent of game sales.

About this data

With a panel of over 4 million online shoppers, Slice Intelligence gives the most detailed, and accurate digital commerce data available, and is reported daily.

Slice Intelligence is the only service to measure digital commerce directly from the consumer, across all retailers, at the item level, and over time. Our retailer-independent methodology precisely measures commerce as it happens. By extracting detailed information from hundreds of millions of aggregated and anonymized e-receipts, Slice can map the entire Purchase Graph, connecting each and every consumer to all their purchases.

Slice gets its data from e-receipts – not a browser, app or software installed by the end-user – so its measurement reflects comprehensive shopping behavior across multiple devices, over time which are key in an increasingly omnichannel retail world.