While gamers in the US, UK and Germany spend more time on mobile games, they are more likely to spend actual money on consoles, according to findings by Newzoo and ACI Worldwide.
A new whitepaper entitled “What Turns Players Into Payers” presents the habits and spending motivations of 2,051 gamers between the ages of 18-40 that play at least two hours per week on any platform across the US, UK and Germany. Players in these countries account for nearly 30 percent of global games market revenues in 2018.
More than 90 percent of respondents in all three countries play mobile games, making it the most popular segment in this study. Respondents also spend the most time on mobile, with 33 percent of mobile gamers playing for more than six hours a week.
However, gamers proved to enjoy a wide variety of platforms—over 70 percent of gamers play games on mobile, console and PC. In fact, despite spending more time on their phones, Newzoo found that gamers are more likely to spend money on console.
“Mobile gamers have always had access to a huge variety of free gaming content across genres, ranging from casual to midcore,” Newzoo senior market analyst Tom Wijman told AListDaily. “Despite the fact that a relatively small share of mobile gamers pay for games, there is a small group of them who pay significant amounts, helping drive up the revenue. Console gamers on the other hand, have access to less free content and have historically always paid a premium price tag for their games. Although this will change as more and more free-to-play (F2P) console titles are being released, the spending culture on the two platforms is very different.”
When asked why they are inclined to spend, 39 percent of gamers cite enjoyment as their main reason. Redeeming a gift card or treating themselves tied in second place at 27 percent. The least popular reason for breaking out the wallet was “frustration” at just nine percent—showing that players aren’t just paying out of necessity.
Among gamers, spending preferences vary by age and platform. For example, players aged 30-40 that spend at least $5 per month are more likely to spend money on console and mobile, at 73 and 58 percent, respectively. Younger gamers between the ages of 18-29 spend less on mobile titles at 55 percent, compared to 72 percent on console and 71 percent on PC.
PayPal is the most popular method of payment across all segments, followed by pre-paid/gift cards. Apple Play is the least-preferred across all age groups. Trust is the most important factor to gamers, followed by the quickest service. In Germany, however, offering a seamless experience was nearly as important as trust according to respondents.
“PayPal is known as a trusted online payment method that has been at the forefront of digital transformation. It carries strong brand value and trust, is very well known in all countries and very easy to pay with,” Andy McDonald, vice president of merchant payments at ACI Worldwide told AListDaily. “That’s what gamers want—quick and hassle-free payment options. A generation of players as well as publishers have worked successfully with this payment method which is available cross-border, and provides brand recognition and security for its users.”
Its reputation may help PayPal hold its number one preferred spot with gamers, but other payment methods are on the horizon.
“Research reveals that gamers are certainly becoming more accepting of other alternative payment methods,” added McDonald. “Google Pay and Apple Pay in particular, and even cryptocurrencies are viewed favorably. Preferences might change quickly and businesses in the sector need to be prepared for that in order to stay ahead of the game.”