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By on September 6, 2012
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There are so many stats bandied around for F2P games, it can sometimes be difficult to choose which ones to track. We don’t currently use ARPDAU (Average Revenue Per Daily Active User) in the GAMESbrief spreadsheet, but it is a figure which many companies quote. It is a useful figure too: if you are focused on DAUs (which most designers are), you need to understand ARPDAU; if you are focused on MAUs (which many finance departments are), you use ARPU on a monthly basis.

So we are going to start keeping track of ARPDAU. One day, it might even make its way into the spreadsheet.


Superdata research has published ARPDAU benchmarks for different gaming genres:

  • 0.01-0.05 USD for puzzle, caretaking and simulation games
  • 0.03-0.07 for hidden object, tournament and adventure games
  • 0.05-0.10 for RPGs, gambling and poker games


Supercell: Q1’13 gross revenue (Clash of Clans and Hay Day combined) was $179MM on a base of 8.5MM DAU, so that’s about $0.23 ARPDAU over both games (source: Quora)

DeNA and A Thinking Ape have both claimed that for most mobile games, expected ARPDAU is less than $0.10. However, YuChiang Cheng of WGT said at Login conference 2012 that an ARPDAU less than $0.05 is a sign of poor performance, and that a good benchmark for ARPDAU is $0.12-015.

Cheng also said that ARPDAUs on tablets are 15-25% higher than on smartphones.

W3i have said “for most games, $0.05 is a good first benchmark. Games with excellent monetization will have ARPDAUs between $0.15 and $0.25.”

Blood Brothers and Ninja Royale, DeNA, $1 (source: eir-parts, August 2012)

Rage of Bahamut, DeNA, $0.60-$1 (source: Techcrunch, June 2012)

Future Combat, A Thinking Ape, $0.45 (source: Inside Network, November 2011)

Parallel Kingdoms, PerBlue: 0.40-0.50(source: inside social games)

Glu Mobile, average over all games: $0.085 (source: Pocketgamer, July 2012)

Stardom, Glu Mobile: $0.132 (Source: Pocketgamer, 9/8/12)

Deer Hunter, Glu Mobile: $0.089 (Source: Pocketgamer, 9/8/12)

Junkies, Glu Mobile: $0.085 (Source: Pocketgamer, 9/8/12)

Gun Bros, Glu Mobile: $0.083 (Source: Pocketgamer, 9/8/12)

Frontline Commando, Glu Mobile: $0.081 (Source: Pocketgamer, 9/8/12)

Contract Killer, Glu Mobile: $0.061 (Source: Pocketgamer, 9/8/12)

Anonymous W3i client: $0.029 from IAPs alone, $0.055 including revenue from cross-promotion offers (Source: W3i, 31/10/12)


Kixeye, $0.80 ARPDAU (source: Double Forte, April 2012)

Kabam, $0.50 estimated ARPDAU (source: Inside Social Games, 28/01/13)


About Nicholas Lovell

Nicholas is the founder of Gamesbrief, a blog dedicated to the business of games. It aims to be informative, authoritative and above all helpful to developers grappling with business strategy. He is the author of a growing list of books about making money in the games industry and other digital media, including How to Publish a Game and Design Rules for Free-to-Play Games, and Penguin-published title The Curve:
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  • Albert

    I would second having an updated benchmark report re ARPDAUs. Please? 🙂

  • Matthew Knippen

    This page is still one of the first Google results for APRDAU, almost 2.5 years after it was written. I would love to see this updated with new stats.

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  • First off, ARPDAU in my work in social games refers to:
    Day’s Revenue divided by DAU for that day

    San Francisco area companies generally use ARPDAU of that sort…but usually call it just RPDAU as the ‘avg’ is already contained in the ‘DAU’.

    Less than $0.10 ARPDAU is usually considered troubling for a browser social game unless operational costs have been driven extremely low.

    More niche games with great monetization design can reach, in the browser game space, $0.30 or more. Of course you will have very valuable customer segments that return around $1.50 for certain games.

  • In my opinion it’s the first you mentioned: ARPDAU is always to be related to ONE single day. So “ARPDAU = 1$” should mean “The ARPDAU on day X in our game was 1$”.

    Of course no one hinders you from expressing an ARPDAU metric for a whole month, BUT I’m pretty sure that this would be the average over all 30 days. So “ARPDAU in January = 1$” would mean “In January, we had an average ARPDAU of 1$ in our game”.

    As for your example with the 10M$ monthly revenue and 1$ ARPDAU:
    No, that does not necessarily mean 333K DAU. It’s an extreme example, but imagine:

    9M$ revenue on day 1 with 500k DAU = 18$ ARPDAU
    500k$ revenue on day 2 with 500k DAU = 1$ ARPDAU
    500k$ revenue on day 3 with 500k DAU = 1$ ARPDAU
    rest of the days with 0$ revenue and only 5 DAU per day

    => 1$ ARPDAU as an average for all 30 days.
    => 10M$ revenue summed up for all 30 days.
    => 1,500,135 players summed up for all days.
    And that’s it.

  • On your installs question:

    ARPDAU is average revenue per daily active user, not average revenue per PAYING DAU, so you don’t need to worry about conversion rates.

    And companies pay over $1.50 for every customer *that they pay for*. They will also get customers through chart position, through Appstore search, through friend recommendations and so on. If every customer they buy is loss making over his or her lifetime, the company had better be sure that those customers are adding some other value (virality, chart position, etc)

  • I wish that people were as consistent as you imply. I agree that DARPU is the low figure that you suggest, but I have definitely heard ARPDAU as being daily revenue, not lifetime revenue.

    In fact, I don’t think I have heard people talking about LTV on a DAU basis. That’s not to say they don’t, just that I haven’t heard it.

  • BoBx

    From my understanding ARPDAU (is LTV Avg Revenue per Daily active user) and DARPU is the daily avg revenue per user (DARPU) i.e on social an LTV can be $1.50+ but socials DARPU 0.10-0.25

    If ARPDAU/LTV is Under a $1.00 are these companies loosing money while acquisition costs are over $1.50 per install for both android/iOS???? and remember a % of the total installs you buy are only converting – what gives?

  • Zoya Street

    Thanks for the link – as noted in the post, the same people quoting these figures for their own games cite much lower benchmarks for ARPDAU forecasting in similar games. They definitely are outliers. I’m adding the figures in that link to this page right now!

  • Zoya Street

    Hope Nicholas weighs in on this, but my guess is that this, like ARPPU and conversion rate, varies from company to company. Which really makes me very sad because it screws up my bar charts.

  • I’m also interested in whether these numbers signify a daily revenue per daily user, or monthly revenue per daily user.

  • Is ARPDAU the *daily* revenue per DAU? A company I used to work for measured *monthly* revenue per DAU.

    I wonder if that’s not the case with DeNA : on page 10 of their Q1 report, they claim 10M$ monthly revenue in the West, and 1$ ARPDAU. Surely they must have over 333K DAU, right ? (10M/30days=333K)
    I think I read Rage of Bahamut alone has 2M DAU, so it would turn a profit of 60M$ per month?
    Or am I missing something?

  • Charles Chapman

    These figures look amazing, especially compared to GLU’s figures, published a month or two ago: