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What’s an impressive conversion rate? And other stats updates

By on July 26, 2012
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From editorial assistant Zoya Street


Part of my job here at Gamesbrief is to regularly update the stats pages for the Free to Play Spreadsheet. Recently I’ve been particularly interested in conversion rates: namely, what makes a good conversion rate? We know that the common industry benchmark is 3-7% monthly conversion, but that some games have audiences that spend considerably better, with lifetime conversions of around 20%. Their developers then go running to Edge magazine and the like, declaring their conversion rate to be the largest in the world. I take that as a challenge, so I’m tracking the high-flyers to see if their claims to glory measure up.

I’m also interested in how low conversion rate can go when it falls short of the widely touted industry benchmarks. Majaka reported a conversion rate of 0.1% on Ski Champion, admitting that they hadn’t focused on a sales strategy when launching their game. Benchmarks aren’t the natural resting point of online player behaviour – it takes work to reach them.

I’m collecting a lot of other KPIs as well, so that you can sanity check the projections in the free to play spreadsheet.  Here’s some of the figures I’ve added in the past month:

Conversion rate

Autoclub Revolution, Eutechnyx: 9% lifetime conversion (source: The A List, 6/28/12)

Ski Champion, Majaka: 0.1% lifetime conversion (Source: Majaka, 6/8/12)

AI War, Arcen Games: 15% lifetime conversion (source: Cliffski’s blog comments)

Note that for forecasting, it’s much better to use monthly conversion rates – lifetime conversion is likely to increase as retention increases and time passes since launch, so it’s not really a clean statistic.

ARPPU (Average revenue per paying user)

Giant: $15 (Boing Boing)

Auto Club Revolution, Eutechnyx: $24 (The A List)

Playdom: $20 (Lightspeed Venture Partners)

EA Social Sports: $56 (Lifetime: AllThingsD)

CPA (customer acquisition cost)

At Game Horizon 2012, Torsten Reil announced that CPAs on iOS have not risen to $1.80

DAUs (daily active users)

Temple Run, free: 7 million DAUs (source: GAMESbrief)

Dark Orbit, Bigpoint: 100,000 DAUs (source: Social Games Summit)

About Zoya Street

I’m responsible for all written content on the site. As a freelance journalist and historian, I write widely on how game design and development have changed in the past, how they will change in the future, and how that relates to society and culture as a whole. I’m working on a crowdfunded book about the Dreamcast, in which I treat three of the game-worlds it hosted as historical places. I also write at Pocketgamer.biz and The Borderhouse.