MEDIA RELEASE: 29 January 2021: A mobile gaming study by Toluna, a tech company that operates in the market research space, surveyed 1,008 mobile gamers or people interested in mobile gaming, aged 16 to 45 in Australia in November 2020.
Although satisfaction is high amongst Aussie mobile gamers, there are concerns about transparency of mobile game costs and the fairness of the monetisation of games. For games that are free to download, Aussie gamers accept the presence of ads, but would much happier to see ads that offered rewards such as extra lives or in-game currency.
Mobile gaming on the rise
Mobile gaming has gone up significantly over the past 12 months, with respondents stating they play 37% more handheld games, 33% more smartphone games and 29% more games on their tablet and console than they did the same time last year.
Generally speaking, mobile gamers showed high levels of satisfaction around mobile games, with:
- 66% satisfied with the quality of mobile games
- 61% satisfied with the ease of finding games to play
- And 61% stating mobile games offered a fair challenge
47% of Australians preferred single player games, with only 17% preferring multi-player options.
Game costs and monetisation
Although mobile gamers understand the need for companies to make money from mobile gaming through in-app purchases and adverts, they weren’t completely happy with how they go about this.
In fact, 64% of Australian mobile gamers said how fair a mobile publisher is on monetisation has a major impact on their decision to purchase or use a game.
- One in four (26%) of Australian mobile gamers were dissatisfied with the transparency of mobile gaming costs
- While 12% were didn’t think mobile games offered a fair challenge
- Of those that were dissatisfied with the fairness of mobile games:
- 51% said gaming developers don’t care about the game, they just want to make money
- 44% believe mobile gaming developers are making games harder so you have to pay to win
- While 36% said mobile games are too buggy, making them too hard to complete
When it comes to ads and in-app purchases, mobile gamers were more accepting of these in games that were free to download.
- 62% of mobile gamers believed ads and in-app purchases were acceptable in games that were free to download
- In Australia, games that are free to download with ads and in-app purchases are the most popular type of game, played by 57% of mobile gamers
- 57% of gamers liked ads that provided rewards such as extra lives or levels
- While almost half (45%) were unhappy with ads that completely took over the screen
In-game currency was the biggest in-app purchase made (55%) with extra lives (38%), gear (36%) and skins/character customisation (32%) also important.
When it comes to ads vs. in-app purchases, 32% would prefer to watch an ad to win in-game currency vs. 26% who would prefer to pay; 39% would prefer to watch an ad for extra lives vs. 21% who would prefer to pay; and 27% would prefer to watch an ad for gear vs. 23% who would prefer to pay.
Sej Patel, Country Director, ANZ, Toluna said:
“Mobile gaming has exploded in the last 12 months as Australians spent more time at home, and more time on mobile devices, which has opened up more opportunities for developers and advertisers alike. The findings show that although players accept the need for monetisation in gaming, transparency about how developers make money is important.
“These insights create an opportunity for advertisers to better understand mobile gamers and where they are prepared to trade off ads versus in-app purchases. Games will provide more return on investment when advertising and in-app purchases are managed strategically, particularly on games that are free to download, and where they offer gamers incentives such as extra lives or health.”
Harris Interactive conducted an online study between 5th – 18th November 2020 amongst a sample of 5,151 mobile gamers, including those interested in mobile gaming, between the ages of 16-45; collecting roughly 1,000 completes in each of 5 markets:
- US – 1046
- UK – 1060
- FR – 1020
- DE –1015
- AUS – 1008
Quotas were set and data weighted by age/gender (interlocked) based on a profile of mobile gamer in each market.