Free-play mobile gaming companies need to do what they can to convert players to payers because once these players have been turned, there’s no turning back.
Analytics firm Soomla‘s new Mobile Gaming Insights Report Q1 2016 says that mobile gamers who make an in-app purchase of virtual goods are six times more likely to make a second purchase. Players who make a purchase in one game are also six times more likely to make a purchase in another game.
Soomla’s new report, which involved tracking 20m users through all of last year, breaks out its findings in terms of game categories, and while the social casino category didn’t make the cut, the findings nonetheless underscore the long-term benefits of converting players to payers.
Soomla found that 13% of users who made a virtual purchase in one game went on to purchase virtual goods in a second game. This number rose to 18% for players who made their first purchase within 24 hours of opening a new game. If these paying players opened that second game with 30 days of their purchase in that first game, the number who made purchases in that second game rose to 24%.
The numbers continue trending upward as players try more games. Over 22% of two-game payers made a purchase in a third game, while 28.9% made a purchase in a fourth game.
The value of purchases in that first game also indicates future willingness to pay in other games. Of players who paid $25 or more in their first game, 40% went on to make purchases in another game.
It’s well established that a small fraction of a game’s total player base is responsible for the majority of in-app purchases, which include virtual credits to continue playing social casino titles. A recent SuperData report confirmed that social casino success wasn’t dependent on vast audience numbers, provided you could convince a small percentage of players to take that first step into the virtual store.
This phenomenon goes a long way toward explaining why social gamers Zynga have been able to boost game revenue despite a continual thinning of its player base. In fact, Zynga’s Hit It Rich! Slots ranked highest in a Newzoo study of social casino gamers who opted to pay real money to keep playing for virtual rewards.