Latest Flurry research into the economics of mobile social games.
Mobile analytics firm Flurry has published its latest stats on the habits of people who play freemium mobile games, and they reveal a generation gap in terms of likelihood to buy in-game items.
Flurry's stats are based on tracking 20 million players across more than 1.4 billion sessions in these games. It found that 13-17 year-olds account for 22% of the time playing freemium games, but only 5% of the spending. Meanwhile, 18-24 year-olds take 32% of the time but 16% of the spending.
Who's stumping up for all these virtual items then? That'll be older gamers. 25-34 year-olds account for 29% of the time spent playing these freemium mobile games, but 49% of the spending. Meanwhile, 35-54 year-olds take 14% of the time but 28% of the spending.
These dynamics are actually pretty logical, as Flurry explains. If you play many of these games a lot, you are less likely to need to pay, since you can earn rewards and advancement through the gameplay itself (for example, virtual coins in a game like Tiny Tower). Younger people with time to play are therefore less likely to need to pay.
And older folk? "24 – 35 year olds presumably have more disposal income, but less time, due to work and family demands. This combination makes them less tolerant to engaging in 'the grind' but also better positioned to buy their way out of it," explains Flurry. "They play less often, but make quicker progress by simply spending."