37% of mobile gamers spent more in-game during pandemic

Anne Freer | March 17, 2021

App Business

With top games seeing 7-day retention rates that are 45% higher than the average, many developers are wondering what’s keeping gamer attention high?

New research by Google reveals that it’s a mix of in-game tactics and building a broader community of players that generates success.

For example, live gaming streams created over 11 billion watch time hours on YouTube over the twelve months from October 2019 to 2020.

During COVID-19 lockdowns, one in four casual gamers spent more money on games than they did before.

It shows that more people were willing to pay for a better experience.

Since the start of the pandemic, one in three gamers made in-game purchases and one in four bought a new game. Around 37% spent more money than they would have before the pandemic.

Some of the things that they bought included in-game currencies, special bundles, rare character items and customisable features.

Almost half (45%) of gamers were playing new games during lockdowns.

It’s clear from the data that gamers are looking for new ways to have fun with searches for “cross play” and “best gaming phone” up 100% in 2020 compared to 2019.

“Gaming has changed tremendously since I first began designing games in 1999. The industry has gone from a niche hobby to a global juggernaut that’s larger than music, movies, and books combined. And it shows no sign of slowing down,” writes game developer Erin Hoffman-John.

To boost engagement, there are a few things game developers can do: use Google Analytics and prediction tools, run A/B testing use cloud messaging for notifications, and deep link players to a location via dynamic linking.

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