Have You Ever Made Any In-App Purchases?

That mobile game you’re playing…ever made any in-app purchases? Mobile gaming has been rapidly evolving, with more features and newer ideas constantly showing up, and with newer ideas and new features, one feature that plenty of mobile games are still seeing is in-app purchases.  With apps usually being free-to-play, many tend to lean towards micro-transactions to add a little more gameplay for a small price.  But how many people actually use micro-transactions when playing mobile games?

WHAT ARE IN-APP PURCHASES?

In-app purchases are just that: micro-transactions that allow you to pay in order to provide various, and usually optional, extras for more gameplay options.  For games like Candy Crush, you can spend a little extra if you run out of lives, or if you need some power-ups.  With other games, like Pokémon Go, you can buy more of things like egg incubators, to hatch more eggs; the more you buy, the more eggs you can hatch, and the more you can hatch, the more Pokémon you can get.  You can choose not to buy any incubators and stick with the one given to the player, but that is significantly slower when it comes to hatching eggs overall, which sort of pushes the player towards wanting to buy more incubators.  With games like Fire Emblem Heroes and Clash of Clans, you have the option to purchase the in-game currency to provide a little more gameplay a little quicker.  For Clash of Clans, you can purchase gems, which you can use to buy more resources or to finish upgrades.  For Fire Emblem, the currency is in the form of orbs, which are used to complete missions.  More difficult missions will require more orbs, but with purchasing more, you can play more while waiting less, however, the orbs do regenerate in real-time.  There are a few exceptions, such as Super Mario Run, which allows the player to play a “trial” of the game, but in order to unlock the entire game, you have to pay for it, but right now, we’re looking at games that you can play in its entirety without the need for in-app purchases, like Candy Crush and Pokémon Go.

HOW MANY PEOPLE ACTUALLY MAKE IN-APP PURCHASES?

According to an article by Pressroom, from mid-2014 to mid-2015, Clash of Clans had the most revenue from in-app purchases, with roughly $365.5 million, followed by Candy Crush Saga with about half of that, at roughly $168 million.  The average age of these players is around 33 and 40 for Clash of Clans and Candy Crush Saga, respectively, with about 70% of CoC players being male, and 70% of CCS being female.  Both games had over 93 million players during that time period as well.

For Pokémon Go, approximately 10 million users in the US make in-app purchases, according to YouGov.  Of those players, about 60% of them have spent up to $20, and about 30% spending between $20-$60.  Over 480,000 players have spent over $100, which makes up roughly 5% of all of the players who make in-app purchases.

DO YOU MAKE IN-APP PURCHASES?

I definitely have made plenty of in-app purchases, but only with games, I intend on playing for a long time, like Hearthstone and Pokémon Go.  I believe that they provide a bit more fun for the games, even though the games are just as fun without having to pay extra.  As long they aren’t pay-to-play or giving the feeling that it’s pay-to-win, I don’t believe there is anything wrong with in-app purchases as an option.  So, do you make any in-app purchases?  How do you feel about in-app purchases like these?  Leave a comment below and let us know!

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Gallal Dharhan
Gallal.dharhan61@brooklyn.cuny.edu

Avid gamer who grew up with the all of the worlds at his fingertips.

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