Only top games reach retention rates of 35%

Anne Freier

In App Business. September 13, 2019

Getting beyond Day 1 for retention is a common problem among app developers and with the industry average being just 25% it’s less than encouraging.

According to GameAnalytics research, only the top games achieve Day 1 retention rates of 35% or 11% for Day 7. The industry average for Day 7 is even lower at 6%.

It’s advisable that developers thoroughly test their games to get close to such KPIs.

Among the top games, a quarter are able to reach a retention rate of 4% after one month. Even though that may sound low, it is a respectable target. A few classic games are achieving retention of up to 10%, but rates like these are rarely achievable for new game titles.

The latest Mobile Games Benchmark report also highlights that the average gameplay session length dropped one minute. GameAnalytics says the trend appears to be ongoing with most game genres witnessing aa 30-second decrease in average session length between H2 2018 and H1 2019. This may be due to users adopting more “bite-sized” gaming styles.

The only exceptions appear to be casino, card, multiplayer and role-playing games where session lengths can be between 13 to 22 minutes.

Average revenue per paying user (ARPPU) and average revenue per daily active user (ARPDAU) from in-app purchases fell 15-20%.

Mid-core games showed some of the highest potentials for earnings with ARPPU around 3-5x higher than for casual games. Strategy and role-playing games converted more players than other genres where ARPDAU and conversion rates were 5-7x higher than the standard.

Having analysed data from 1.2 billion monthly active users, the report found that eCPM for hyper-casual games in China grew rapidly during H1 2019. Median eCPMs were almost as high as they were in the US, signalling the rapid adoption of casual games in China.

However, globally hyper-casual eCPMs were the lowest in the industry at 3-5x lower than other gaming genres.