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Latest data added to our free-to-play benchmarks

By on July 22, 2013

We’re long overdue an update on our benchmark stats. I spent last week combing through some of the tips that have been sent in, as well as collating the data I gathered at MobileBeat.

The state of monetisation

Games are among the easiest mobile apps to monetise, but other apps are finding it easier and easier to generate revenue. Users are increasingly comfortable spending money on mobile devices, and their engagement is high enough that advertising on mobile is leading to direct results for retail businesses.

  • “Last Black Friday, 16% of revenue came from mobile devices” — Prashant Fuloria, Flurry, at MobileBeat 2013
  • “Showing banner ads while user is actually in the store increases sales 22-30%” (I think this is bricks&mortar stores) — B. Bonin Bough , Mondelez International at MobileBeat 2013

As for virtual goods, Emily Greer of Kongregate has shared some useful information that all free-to-play game developers should bookmark, reread, and understand in the context of their own funnel.

  • 70% of Kongregate’s revenue comes from virtual goods
  • Four of the top five Kongregate games have 68% of revenue coming from spends over $500
  • Permanent upgrades bring in more revenue. Consumables represent 10-30% of sales.
  • Users who have played a game 50+ times bring 84% of revenue
  • When Bloons Tower Defence 5 launched, its highest-priced virtual good was $100, 10x higher than Bloons Tower Defence 4. Their ARPPU increased 108%

Conversion rates

  • Conversion in Bloons Tower Defence dropped by 8%, but user rating increased, suggesting that there was little user backlash resulting from the expansion of the price range available on virtual goods.
  • US has higher ARPPUs, Japan has higher conversion (10-15%) — Anil Darni, GREE
  • “40% of shopping sessions happen on mobile, but you have a 75% drop-off before a purchase is made” — Aunkur Arya, Braintree
  • Tribes Ascend: 10% conversion rate (source: Gamasutra, July 2013)


Average cost per install for Facebook mobile app ads is $7.50 (source: Jussi Laakkonen, 2nd May 2013)


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)


CSR racing is installed on nearly 10% of all iOS devices. That’s about 60 million installs. (Source: Torsten Reil, 10th June 2013)


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 and The Borderhouse.