Today an announcement caught my eye. PlaySpan, a Visa Company (NYSE: V) and Frank N. Magid Associates wanted to find out if we like our games for free. In a joint effort a report was compiled which found that an overwhelming majority (77 percent) of gamers are spending more time playing free-to-play (F2P) games than pay-to-play games. Focusing on video game business models, the survey established that 110 million Americans prefer F2P games.
The study polled gamers on a variety of topics including favored platform, spending behavior and preference between F2P and pay-to-play gaming models. The study uncovered F2P games were seen as most attractive to female gamers, with 82 percent of women preferring a free model, compared to just 72 percent of men. The study also found men were nearly three times more likely than women to cite pay-to-play or subscription based games as their favorite.
Among those playing F2P games, men were three times more likely than women to make in-game purchases, averaging $13.38 and $4.84 per month, respectively. The difference was most pronounced in men and women gamers 18-24 years old, where the average climbed to $30.59 and $3.95 per month, respectively.
“The shift in free-to-play games is becoming the norm in the gaming industry and this survey reinforces that trend,” said Robert Crawford, vice president of Frank N. Magid Associates. “We’re seeing free-to-play game revenue outpacing pay-to-play games when looking at the long-term average spend per year. It’s important that game developers recognize this change and be able to monetize it through new free-to-play gaming platforms.”
The survey found that 46 percent of women indicated that gaming on a smartphone was their preferred gaming platform, while slightly more (48 percent) of men favored console gaming instead. There were also strong gender differences across game genres, where men were almost three times more likely to play shooters, 48 percent versus just 17 percent.
“The modern era of console, PC and mobile game development is quickly changing,” said Andre Machicao, head of PlaySpan. “Developers are faced with more platform choices and monetization channels than ever before, and these survey results offer a clear view into where developers should be placing their bets to broaden their audience.”
To learn more about the Magid survey, join PlaySpan at the Game Developers Conference this month where they’ll be presenting the complete survey findings and sharing additional results. Stop by PlaySpan’s booth #824 in the South Hall at 3:30 pm PST on Wednesday, March 27 to learn more. To request a copy of the report when it becomes available, go to their website with this URL http://www.playspan.com/GDC-2013-Report.
To schedule a meeting with PlaySpan and Visa at the Game Developers Conference, please contact Carter Rogers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Frank N. Magid Associates conducted an online survey of 743 individuals in December 2012 that focused on the attitudes and behavior among a broad range of gamers. Using a highly qualified sample provider, Research Now, Magid surveyed a representative sample by gender, age (13-54 years old) and ethnic background. A screening question (Which platform do you own and use regularly for gaming) was used to identify current gamers. Those who did not select at least one of the platforms were screened out.
About PlaySpan Inc.
PlaySpan® provides game developers with a complete monetization platform offering payments, subscriptions and virtual currency wallet microtransactions solutions for online games. Monetize globally by presenting consumers a geographically optimized payment experience from over 100 payment methods – all through a Single REST API. Behind the scenes PlaySpan applies its cutting edge fraud technology specialized for digital content to minimize fraud. Comprehensive reporting and analytics provide keen business insight.
About Frank N. Magid Associates, Inc.
Frank N. Magid Associates, Inc. is a leading media and entertainment research-based strategy firm which has been studying the evolving media landscape and its impact on consumer behavior for 54 years. Magid has extensive cable and broadcast television, online video, and mobile video practices, and works on content and marketing strategies with leading broadcast and cable networks, MSOs, television manufacturers, video content providers, mobile device manufacturers and wireless carriers.