On average, North Americans only spend about $US3.30/month on mobile games.
That’s up from was $US2.72/month average spending per month last year.
So while it seems like North Americans are indulging a tiny bit more on mobile games than we used to, we are still pretty thrifty compared to parts of Asia.
Koreans spend more than $US5.91/month for their gaming habit, but amazingly, the Japanese fork over a whopping $US9.39 each month to mobile developers, according to a 2015 report from analytics firm EEDAR.
The funny thing is, they didn’t spend any more time gaming than North American players: just three and a half hours a week!
If they aren’t playing for three times as long, how is the average Japanese mobile gamer spending three times as much money every month?
Sadly, the full report from EEDAR isn’t out yet, so we can only make an educated guess at the cause. But we have a theory.
Logically, there could be one of two reasons for the discrepancy: Either because Japanese players buy more in-app items than North Americans, or the in-game items they buy are more expensive.
Japanese gamers love their role-playing games (often called RPGs) — they’re the second most popular game genre in Japan, according to the report.
With engrossing story lines and goal-driven gameplay, a player can easily get sucked into an RPG, so perhaps players of RPGs are more likely to spend money on in-game items to beat a level or tough boss and continue the story. Feeding off that player’s desire to progress, game developers sometimes offer useful but expensive items to help them complete the game.
The arcade-style, pick-up-and-play games — like “Angry Birds” or “Candy Crush” — are more popular with North Americans. But the gameplay is less driven by stories or goals, instead offering quick and entertaining gameplay. The way app developers usually make money is through the “freemium” model: make the games free to download and play, but make progress extremely slow without the purchase of in-game items.
In both cases, people are purchasing items in-game — but it seems possible that the types of games that Japanese players indulge in encourage them to either buy in-app purchases with greater frequency or it makes the gamers more likely to purchase higher cost items.
Either way this could be what’s driving up the average monthly game spending in the country.
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