Gamers are frugal. If you’ve kept up with mobile gaming at all over the past several years, you’re already well aware of the rise of freemium games — they’re free up front, but require a small monetary investment, usually in the form of in-app purchases, for a reasonable rate of progression. The freemium market came to a head with the release of Candy Crush Saga about a year and a half ago, converting millions of non-gamers to obsessed puzzle fiends. In light of the shifting market, WildTangent has teamed up with research and analytics firm IHS Technology to examine the new trend of bucking one-time fees.
According to the whitepaper released by WildTangent and IHS, 86% of gamers prefer free games with ads over paid games without ads. Not only do a vast majority of gamers prefer ads over premium, ad-less content, 66% “want more opportunities to earn reward through ads.” Many games allow players to watch 30 second clips in order to accrue the freemium currency that would cost money otherwise. Gamers aren’t just ok with it — they want more.
Advertisers and developers have taken note: All 10 of the top 10 highest grossing apps on Apple’s App Store are free to download and feature IAP. Next time you complain about having to watch a video or stare at an ad for 10 seconds after every turn, just remember that we did this to ourselves.