Flurry research explores who's playing and what genres are succeeding in mobile gaming.
Mobile game research company Flurry examined the consumer behavior differences by app usage, retention and demographics for the top nine free-to-play, or freemium, game genres in mobile gaming. For this analysis, Flurry leveraged a sample of more than 300 million consumers using iOS and Android games each month.
The study found that well-designed “appointment” mechanics drive frequency, as users are compelled to maintain and progress in their respective game. Social Turn-based games succeed in building an active, loyal user base by offering popular “evergreen” games played among friends. From a revenue perspective, while there exists significant potential to show advertising impressions to consumers who use so frequently, games in the Slots and Resource Management & Simulation (labeled as “Mgmt/Sim”) genres commonly monetize via in-app purchase. However, companies that maximize revenue in from this business extract revenue from consumers willing to pay via in-app purchase, and then by showing ads to those who do not pay.
The report found that the Strategy genre gaming audience is demanding because game lifecycles are short and a game’s live services must be flawlessly executed. Successful Strategy game developers accelerate monetization by driving competition among players (“Player vs. Player”) and by encouraging fast game progress through premium currency spends. With frequency of use so high, users churn through content quickly. To maximize retention, developers must continuously release new content after the game’s initial launch.
The well-documented success of the Card-Battle genre in Asia, and now Western markets, is even more impressive when considering the short time frame developers have to drive transactions. Targeted user acquisition is critical to avoid paying for large batches of users that will drop off quickly due to the “hardcore” nature of the content and game mechanics.