Exclusive: 78% of mobile gamers spending $50+ on IAP say they've received 'their money's worth'

EEDAR survey of 3,000 reveals surprising facts

Exclusive: 78% of mobile gamers spending $50+ on IAP say they've received 'their money's worth'
New research from market research firm EEDAR suggests that many perceptions about free-to-play gamers are wide of the mark.

It's interviewed 3,000 active mobile gamers in North America as part of its Deconstructing Mobile & Tablet Gaming 2013 study.

The conclusion is that an overwhelming percentage of heavy spenders felt they were "getting their money's worth" with their purchases.

Empowering play with pay

Or put another way, over three-quarters (75 percent) of the players that spent $50 or more on a game and over two thirds (67 percent) of players that spent $100 or more on a game stated they were satisfied with their experience.

Leading the charge of games referenced in the study were King's Candy Crush Saga, which represented 22 percent of the sample, and Supercell's Clash of Clans, which represented 9 percent.

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EEDAR's research also calls into question the role of consumer agency in the decision to make purchases.

Previously, there were some in the industry who felt that free-to-play games were 'Skinner boxes' that relied on the power of impulse purchases to trick players into availing themselves of IAPs.

But EEDAR found that these heavy spenders were very selective in determining which freemium games they spent on and weren't influenced by flashing lights and the desire to speed through just any game.

Rather, these heavy spenders were likely making a conscious decision on whether a game was good enough or not before they invested money in it.

Consoling the consoles

Another point which EEDAR called into question was the conception of free-to-play gamers and console gamers as two separate gaming groups.

The data collected for the Deconstructing Mobile & Tablet Gaming 2013 study shows that freemium gamers and 'traditional' gamers overlap.

Of those respondents who spent $50 or more on a single mobile game, 34 percent of their gaming time was spent on a smartphone, 19 percent on a tablet, 17 percent on a console, 6 percent on a gaming handheld, and 24 percent on a PC.

Thus, while a $50 in-app purchase might not deliver the same amount of content as a $50 triple-A console game, heavy mobile spenders recognize - and enjoy - the value of both.

Bringing it all together

Speaking on the data points collected during the study, EEDAR's senior analyst Patrick Walker lays out exactly where detreactors are mistaken with its impressions of free-to-play gamers.

"Critics of the free-to play-business model state that the model takes advantage of heavy spenders by leveraging impulsive buying behaviors rather than providing true gameplay value," he says.

"However, when asked, the majority of heavy spenders endorse that they are satisfied with the purchases made in the mobile games on which they spend the most money.

"In addition, these heavy mobile spenders play on a broad variety of platforms, including consoles, and understand the value proposition supplied across different business models, and still choose to purchase microtransactions."

Those interested in reading the study in full, or learning more about EEDAR, can do so by visiting its website.

US Correspondent

Representing the former colonies, Matt keeps the Pocket Gamer news feed updated when sleepy Europeans are sleeping. As a frustrated journalist, diehard gamer and recovering MMO addict, this is pretty much his dream job.