Home > F2P, MMO Concepts > Article of the Week: “Older Gamers More Likely to ‘Pay to Win'” or “Average Transaction is $14”

Article of the Week: “Older Gamers More Likely to ‘Pay to Win'” or “Average Transaction is $14”

Did you know the average freemium player spends $14 on average during each transaction at the game’s online stores? Neither did the folks over at Flurry Analytics, which is why they conducted an independent survey to determine some trends in iOS and Android gaming. Considering that their sample size was 20 million users across 1.2 play sessions, I’d say their results maybe quite accurate.

Gamers between the ages of 13 and 34 represent more than 80 percent of smartphone game time. Young adults between the ages of 18 and 24 spent the most time gaming, which accounted for 32 percent of total time. At the next age group, 25-34, time gaming dropped slightly to 29 percent.

Perhaps not unsurprisingly, the older gamer was far more likely to spend cash to unlock new gear or content, as opposed to spending hours grinding the content to eventually have a shot at it. This actually resonated with me personally. A decade ago, I would not imagine spending extra money on an MMO (or any other free game) that I had already purchased at full-price. As I have gotten older, and the hours in the day continue to shrink at a regular pace, I have, self-admittedly, engaged in online transactions to save me time farming the same content or gear.

The most recent example of this would be the Machina Sniper Rifle that was released for Team Fortress 2. You could obtain the rifle in a few ways:

  • Pre-order Deus Ex: Human Revolution for $44.99, get the Machina (and 7 other items) completely free
  • Pay $1.99 in the Team Fortress 2 Mann Co. store and acquire the Machina
  • Spend a lot of time on trade channels, trying to exchange the Machina for another unique or special item you may have
  • Use the in-game crafting system to melt down existing weapons and craft it from scratch

I had already bought Deus Ex for the Xbos 360, so I wasn’t about to dole out another $44.99 just for the items in TF2. I spent about 15 minutes in a trade channel before I realize it will take me some time to find something that the other party wanted badly enough to trade me the Machina. I even dabbled in crafting and quickly realized that I would have to sacrifice quite a few weapons to get it. Finally I had a look at the store, and realized that for a measly $1.99, I could skip all this aggravation, and so I did.

Personal example notwithstanding, it goes on to show that the freemium model works, and it actually seems to work better with increasing age bracket (and presumably disposable income). If anything, with the exponential rise in mobile gaming and increasingly powerful operating systems, this trend will only continue to gain strength.

Via Massively, on MSNBC.com.

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Categories: F2P, MMO Concepts
  1. September 12, 2011 at 8:10 pm

    Yea, I have no problem paying cash to advance or unlock content in a game. I have no ethical dilemma about that at all…… until someone creates an extra few hours in the day I can dedicate to gaming my real job will have to supplement my virtual ones 🙂

    I’ve also spent more money on World Of Tanks (free) than any pay-model game in the same amount of time.

    • September 13, 2011 at 9:55 pm

      Which reinforces the point that F2P gaming is actually catered towards an older audience, because they are the ones who have little time to engage in grinding, and the disposable income to be able to afford bypassing the grind.

  2. Syl
    September 13, 2011 at 1:14 am

    Indeed. for older players, two important factors come together; less time,more cash.

    • September 13, 2011 at 9:56 pm

      I don’t know how old you are monkey boy, but from your comment I am guess you fall squarely in said category.

  3. Milamber
    September 13, 2011 at 5:42 am

    I’ve bought 2 keys ($10) to open crates 4-5 times now over the period of the last year and a half to two years. I can’t bring myself to throwing them away and when they stack up I feel like I have to open them because I could get some rare hat or something. Fingers crossed I get one of those unique ones with a particle effect. I am going to sell that thing for so much real money.

    • September 13, 2011 at 9:58 pm

      This mentality is what will drive Diablo III, I think. A lot of players actually engage in micro-transactions, not just because it advances their game/character, but also because if they unlock something really useful, they can sell it for real money. With the introduction of the real-money auction house in D3, I think we will see farming at an all time high in Blizzard games.

  4. Milamber
    September 14, 2011 at 11:54 pm

    I won’t be farming, but if I get some sweet-ass rare weapon, that shit is going to market right away.

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