Freemium Games: Some demographics are money makers, others… not so much

Freemium games, arguably the hottest business model in mobile development right now, rely on humans to pay real money for completely virtual benefits. Sounds insane… works disturbingly well.

But not in every department. As data from Flurry’s analytical tools have revealed, some demographics appear tremendously more profitable than others—and that there is actually somewhat of an inverse relationship between time spend playing games and money spent on said games. In other words, those spending less time on the games wind up spending more money. Crazy, huh?

It makes more sense once we break it down.

Teens aged 13 to 17 account for 22% of the game time played but a puny 5% of money spent, Flurry stats tell us. This should be obvious—most of these little guys don’t have jobs and just want to play the game, mindless grind and all. Those aged 18 to 24 account for 32% of game time—the most of all—but just 16% of money spent. They’ve got some money, these ones, but not much, and gaming takes up plenty of their time, so why cheat with cash?

The 25 to 34 demographic, however… these guys account for 29% of the game time but a staggering 49% of money spent. That’s right, half of all money spent comes from this group. Here, and in the next demographic—aged 35 to 54—time is money and they’re willing to spend it to get ahead in the game. With busy careers and in many cases kids and a spouse, the grind of a free game isn’t worth it.

Finally, those aged 55-plus… 3% of game time, 2% of money spent. Oldies not quite into the whole freemium thing. This generation, anyway.

Moral of the story? If you’re building a freemium game, target gamers aged 18 to 54.

Image credit: Flurry, Mind the Gap, TechCrunch

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