Less than 15% of game apps retain 35% of players after day 1

Retention rates of mobile app gamers continues to be a key challenge for app marketers with just 1.5% of gamers engaged with a game 28 days after download, according to a new report from GameAnalytics, the Mobvista-owned mobile game network.

The report found that fewer than 15% of game apps managed to retain 35% of players after day 1. Children were found to exhibit some of the worst retention rates at 15% after the first 24 hours.

Furthermore, app developers may notice a slight dip in retention during Christmas and the summer holidays for day 7 retention times.

A staggering 94% of players tend to abandon gaming apps by day 28. Among the genres with the longest retention were puzzle, word, board, trivia and casino game apps.

Overall, average session lengths had dropped to 5 minutes, down by one minute from last year. Generally though, top performing games showed improved session lengths of double the average. Toward the bottom, the worst performing game apps showed session lengths of roughly 3 minutes or less.

“The gaming market is a winner-takes-all space, with most titles barely earning anything,” said GameAnalytics CEO, Ioana Hreninciuc.

“Working with these developers on a day to day basis, it’s clear that studios who take time to monitor their metrics, run experiments, and use data in their campaigns take the lion’s share of revenue. We see over and over again what a big difference it makes when developers marry their passion with a numbers-driven approach, and we’re here to help small teams who want to get started on this journey.”

Apps that performed best also generated higher revenues – roughly 8-10x higher than other titles.

Average revenue per user was highest among racing, action and arcade game titles where players spent an average $1.6 per month.

However, only the top performing game apps generate in-app purchases with conversion rates over 1%. Meanwhile, average conversion was 0.4%.

When it comes to free mobile games, the top 15% where generating 10x more revenue than the industry average.