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Freemium Gaming Metrics 2012 C a sual G ame s Sec tor Rep or t


What are freemium games? Offering a game, product or service free of charge while charging a premium for advanced features, functionality, or related products and services. Also referred to as Free to Play or F2P.


What it was.

Freemium Games

Traditionally, the basic* metrics that mattered were: For subscription revenue models:

Monthly Cost of Subscription X # of Subscribers = Subscription Revenue For retail:

Price per Copy Sold X Volume Sold = Retail Revenue With freemium: • Monthly cost of subscription - does not apply. • # of subscribers - not all of them make purchases. • Price per copy sold - prices vary and inventory rotates. • Volume sold - Inventory rotates and varies greatly.

*Obviously, there’s a lot more that goes in to calculating revenue. Here we’re talking about back of the envelope estimates.

What it is now. Monthly Active Users X Conversion Rate X ARPPU = Monthly Revenue

Why it Matters. The freemium revenue model is driving growth across gaming genres. MMO Revenues Worldside - Freemium vs Subscription (millions) $10000

Subscription F2P

$8000

Social Gaming Revenues Worldwide (millions) $15000 $12000

$6000

$9000

$4000

$6000

$2000

$3000

$0

2011

2012E

2013E

2014E

2015E

Worldwide Freemium MMO revenue grows twice as fast as subscription MMO revenues in 2012.

$0

2011

2012E

2013E

2014E

2015E

The genre that helped popularize the freemium model shows revenue growth through 2015E. Freemium Gaming Metrics 2012  Ca s ua l G a m e s A s s o c i at i o n


The New Metrics and New way Monthly Active Users What it means

What questions it answers

The number of unique players that have logged in or performed some in-game action within the last 30 days.

> How stable is a game’s traffic? > How successful was a promotion or ad campaign in attracting players?

What success looks like A successful launch or promotion should result in a sharp increase or uptick in MAU. Angry Birds with Friends MAU

Mature, long-term successful games are stable in MAU with highly variable steady-states. Zynga Texas HoldEm Poker MAU (thousands of unique players)

(thousands of unique players)

20,000

40,000

15,000

37,500

10,000

35,000

5,000

32,500

0

30,000

12

12

0/

7/

2 6/

1 6/

12

2

12 4/

1 6/

1/

1 6/

2

1 8/

6/

2

1 5/

12 0/

12 7/

1 2/

6/

6/

3 5/

12 4/

2 5/

12 1/

2 5/

2 5/

2 /1

2 /1

19 3/

2 /1

16 3/

2 /1

13 3/

2 /1

10 3/

2

1 4/

7 3/

2

2 /1

1 1/

3/

3/

2 /1

27 2/

2 /1

24 2/

21 2/

Caution > H igh traffic is not necessarily a signal of success and low traffic is not sign of failure. Conversion and average revenue per user (ssee next page) must be considered too. > L ooking at MAU short-term snapshots (less than 30 days trending) can be misleading. Recent promotions and ad campaigns often increase traffic to unsustainable levels. Source: Appstats.eu


to measure success:

Freemium Games

Stickiness What it means Social Empire MAU

Percentage of monthly active users that return to the game on any given day, often written as the DAU/MAU ratio. This ratio is used to measure the propensity of a player to return.

(thousands of unique players)

8,000

7,250

What questions it answers

6,500

> Are players coming back? > How engaged are a game’s players?

5,750

What success looks like

5,000

2

/1

2

/1

20

17

2

/1

12

/1

14

11

12

8/

2

12

5/

2

6/

6/

6/

6/

6/

6/

2/

2

/1

/1

30

2

/1

Caution > Stickiness is best measured when the game is in its steady state as rapid growth or decline of audience can do funky things to this number. Additionally, stickiness is a measure of the games natural engagement AND the quality of your incoming traffic. Look at optimizing both of these inputs when improving stickiness. This is especially important because all too often, developers will spend tons of money trying to improve the game’s stickiness by adding features and functions to the game—when the real problem is customer acquisition efforts are simply targeting the wrong audience.

27

2

2 /1 20 6/ 2 /1 17 6/ 2 /1 14 6/ 2 /1 11 6/ 12 8/ 6/ 12 5/ 6/ 12 2/ 6/ 2 /1 30 5/ 2 /1

6/

5/

5/

24

5/

/1

21

5/

The higher the better. Most successful freemium games have a 15% to 20% DAU/MAU ratio.

Monthly Active Users

Empire Avenue MAU (thousands of unique Facebook App - Social Empireplayers) MAU

40

38.7

37.5

36.2

35

2 /1

27 5/

2 /1

24 5/

21 5/

Freemium Gaming Metrics 2012  Ca s ua l G a m e s A s s o c i at i o n


The New Metrics and New way Conversion Rate What it means

What questions it answers

The percentage of players who spend real money in your game. Calculated by dividing the number of currently active payers by the total number of active players for a given period of time.

> How good is your game at convincing players to pay real money? > What is a particular audience’s propensity to spend real money? > What strategies/tactics should you employ to increase revenue?

What success looks like

40%

For social games, conversion rates vary from 1% to 5%. Niche categories, like mid-core social games, have higher conversion rates.

25%

Conversion Rates - Social Games

Brazil Mid-Core

Brazil

3%

US

40%

10%

Brazil Mid-Core35%

5%

30%

0%

2%

US Mid-Core

4% 1%

3%

Nov 2011 Dec 2011 Jan 2012 Feb 2012 Mar 2012 Apr 2012

Brazil US

2% 1%

Nov 2011 Dec 2011 Jan 2012 Feb 2012 Mar 2012 Apr 2012

40% 35% UK 30%

20%

40%

10%

35%

5%

30%

0%

20%

Fantasy

30%

Average

25% 20%

Germany

Sci-Fi Fantasy Average

15% 10% Client 5% 0%

UK

Germany Client

40%

25%

Sci-Fi

35%

15%

15%

Browser Based >>>>> 1% to 10% Client Based >>>>> 12% to 50%

Client

25%

Browser

Conversion Rates - MMOs by Distribution Method

Germany Average

UK

15%

0%

For MMOs, conversion rates depend heavily on distribution method. Browser based MMOs have conversion rates under 10%, while client based MMOs are 3x as high.

Fantasy

20%

5%

*Source: SuperData Research.

Average

Client Sci-Fi

25%

10%

0%

Fantasy

15%

US Mid-Core

4%

0%

Sci-Fi

Conversion Rates20% - MMOs

5%

5%

MMO conversion35%rates also vary by region and 30% as fantasy or sci-fi). sub-category (such

Sci-Fi 40%

Sci-Fi Fantasy

35% 30% 25% 20%

Fantasy

Germany Average Average

UK Browser

15% 10%

Caution 5% 0% > D10% eclining conversion does not UKautomatically mean a game is Germany losing payers. It can also signal that a large number of new Browser 5% players has been added to the overall population. > H0% igh conversion mean high spending. UK rates do not automatically Germany Browser


to measure success:

Freemium Social GAMES Games

Average Revenue per User & Average Revenue per Paying User What it means.

What questions it answers

Average Revenue per Paying User (ARPPU): Average revenue generated from each paying or converted user. Calculated by dividing total game revenues by number of paying or converted users. Average Revenue per User (ARPU): Average revenue generated from each playing user. Calculated by dividing total game revenues by number of active players. ARPU is useful when comparing the effectiveness of various customer acquisition techniques.

> How much does a game’s average payer spend? > What’s the average player’s spend for a particular title or game type?

ARPU

ARPPU

Revenue

Revenue

Players

Payers

What success looks like Since freemuim games have no set prices like retail or subscription, ARPPU varies immensely. Wide ranges are seen when comparing regions. Germany loves Sci-Fi MMOs and spends accordingly. Germany Sci-Fi MMO ARPPU: $58.77 France Sci-Fi MMO spending reflects less enthusiasm for the genre. France Sci-Fi MMO ARPPU: $14.83

Wide ranges are seen when comparing paying gamers. The top 10% of paying gamers outspend the rest by a factor of 15 to 100. ARPPU Spenders Compare Spain Social Spain Social GamersGamers Top 10% Top 10% MiddleMiddle 40% 40% BottomBottom 50% 50%

Wide ranges are seen when comparing subcategories. Mid-core social games attract a demographic who identify as gamers and are accustomed to spending on gaming entertainment. This difference is evident when comparing mid-core social game spending to city building spending. US Mid-core Social Game ARPPU: $105.13 US City Building Social Game ARPPU: $34.46

*Source: SuperData Research. May 2012 MMO ARPPU numbers. April 2012 Social ARPPU numbers.

$123.83 $12.13 $12.13 $1.90 $1.90 $123.83

Spain Social Gamers

BrazilGamers MMO Gamers Brazil MMO Top 10% Top 10% MiddleMiddle 40% 40% BottomBottom 50% 50%

$49.16$49.16

$8.84 $8.84

$3.11 $3.11

Brazil MMO Gamers

Caution > A RPU/ARPPU alone is not enough to assess the health of a game’s player base. > Dependency on top spenders increases overall risk for a game’s revenue.

Freemium Gaming Metrics 2012  Ca s ua l G a m e s A s s o c i at i o n


Key Terminology ARPPU

Freemium: also called free to play (F2P)

Average Revenue Per Paying User.

Average Revenue per User.

Offering a game, product or service free of charge (such as software, web services or other) while charging a premium for advanced features, functionality, or related products such as virtual goods and services.

BROWSER BASED GAMES

Microtransactions

ARPU

Games played directly inside of a web browser such as IE or Chrome. Often referred to as HTML5 or Flash games.

CLIENT BASED GAMES

Low value transactions at a high volume.

MID-CORE Casual games created for the enthusiast game players.

Games played in a standalone application which is installed on a device typically through download.

MMO

Conversion Rate

Massively Multiplayer Online game where millions of players interact in a game environment.

The number or percentage of users that have shifted from non-paying to a paying status.

Monthly Active Users (MAU)

Cost per Acquisition (CPA)/ Customer Acquisition Cost

The number of unique users that have used an application at least once over the course of a month.

Cost of acquiring leads or customers. CPA is calculated by dividing the cost of advertising by the number of gamers/ players for a given period of time.

PAY TO PLAY (P2P)

CUSTOMER ACQUISITION OPTIMIZATION

RETENTION

Using metrics such as stickiness, retention, ARPU, ARPPU, MAU, DAU and conversion to determine the optimal customer acquisition techniques.

Percentage of a given cohort who remains engaged over a given time. Especially important when evaluating customer acquisition techniques.

Daily Active Users (DAU)

Virtual Goods

The number of unique users that have used an application at least once over the course of a day.

In-game items or game-related services, such as a virtual currency or temporary subscription, that enable or enhance game play.

Users must pay to play game. A limited trial is often used to hook players.

About the Casual Games Association When it comes to the health of your business, the more things that work together, the better. Which is why the Casual Games Association is a critical portion of the success of your company and the industry as a whole. It means that you and your team have access to cutting edge educational resources and are connected to thousands of other game industry professionals, members of the press and service providers around the globe. Learn more at http://www.casualgamesassociation.org/

For press inquiries, please email jessica@casualconnect.org Learn more about the casual games industry with the best speakers, networking, lectures and data to help you succeed in a crowded market at: Casual Connect Kyiv: October 2012 Casual Connect Europe: February 2013 Casual Connect Asia: May 2013 Casual Connect USA: July 2013

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