Inside Virtual Goods: Spending and Usage Patterns of the Social and Mobile Gaming Audience 2012, Is Here

If 2011 is remembered as the year that games on mobile platforms grew quickly and games on social networks continued to mature, 2012 is quickly becoming the year that mobile games ecosystems are beginning to mature as well. Given massive changes in the Facebook monetization ecosystem over the last year, last year’s hit games are fighting for their lives, and new developers and games are climbing the leaderboards. At the same time, larger players are consolidating smaller studios and teams, investing heavily in a portfolio approach across mobile and social, and large media companies and traditional game developers continue to plot their social and mobile gaming strategies.

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That’s why we’re excited to announce today a new original study in our Inside Virtual Goods series by co-authors Justin Smith and Charles Hudson that is exclusively focused on spending and usage patterns in the social and mobile gaming market, entitled Inside Virtual Goods: Spending and Usage Patterns of the Social and Mobile Gaming Audience 2012. The third annual installment of this report, and is being released for the first time today.

As a leading source of independent information on the social and mobile games industry, our third annual survey of trends in this market are more valuable than ever for those looking for an unbiased view on player behavior trends. Inside Virtual Goods: Spending and Usage Patterns of the Social and Mobile Gaming Audience 2012 is our exclusive independent look at the virtual goods spending and behavior patterns of social game players on Facebook, iOS, and Android — data you won’t find anywhere else.

About the Report

Inside Virtual Goods: Spending and Usage Patterns of the Social and Mobile Gaming Audience 2012 gives you an inside view of the market at this critical juncture in the intersection of social networking, mobile applications, and online games.

We have surveyed nearly 3,000 players of social games on Facebook, iOS, and Android from around the world and across the demographic spectrum. Inside Virtual Goods: Spending and Usage Patterns of the Social and Mobile Gaming Audience 2012 is the most in-depth independent survey of player behavior and spending patterns in the social gaming market.

What We Cover

  1. Spending Habits and Payment Methods in Top Games – It’s easy to compare games based on audience numbers, but which games monetize better? What payment methods do players use most often in top games? How is the shift to Credits affecting player behavior? We investigate how spending patterns compare across top social amd social games.
  2. Frequency of Play and Methods of Game Discovery - As Facebook has cut down on developer access to viral channels, and cracking iOS and Android discovery continues to increase in complexity, designing an engaging and viral game is becoming both increasingly important and challenging. We investigate which games people play most frequently, and which methods of game discovery are most effective for top games.
  3. Demographic Differences by Region, Age, and Gender – While the social and mobile gaming markets are increasingly global, the audience is also becoming increasingly diverse by age and gender. How do different segments of the audience differ in terms of spending and usage patterns inside social and mobile games? We take an in depth look.
  4. Brand Recall - How important are brands, and how well can users identify developers of top games? We investigate brand recall amongst social game players.

See the full table of contents below:

Table of Contents

I. Methodology and Respondents

 

1. Introduction

  • Survey Objectives

II. Social Games Player Spending and Usage Habits Survey Results

 

2. Research Methodology

  • Respondent Acquisition Method
  • Target Population
  • Survey Structure
  • Potential For Bias
3. Survey Respondents

4. Favorite Game

  • Distribution of Favorite Game
  • Frequency of Play
  • Discovering Favorite Game
  • With Whom Do You Play?
  • Spending on Favorite Game
5. Payments
  • Frequency of Payment Methods
  • Consumer Perception of Facebook Credits
6. Play Patterns, Spending, and Brand Recall for Top Games
  • Frequency of Play in Top Games
  • Spending in Top Games
  • Aided Brand Recall for Top Games
7. Mobile Platforms & Game Adoption by Active Social Games Players
  • Smart Device Ownership
  • Mobile Games Played by Active Social Game Players
  • In-Game Mobile Purchase Activity by Active Social Gamers
8. Regional Differences
  • Game Discovery and Spending
  • Favorite Game
  • Payment Types
9. Age and Gender Differences
  • Who are the Social Gaming “Whales”?
  • Spend Across Games

III. Mobile Games Player Spending and Usage Habits Survey Results

 

10. Survey Methodology on Mobile

  • How we acquired users
  • Targeting by platform

11. Demographic Information

  • Gender
  • Age distribution
  • Regional distribution

12. Device Ownership

  • Overall distribution of device ownership by platform
  • Multiple device ownership

13. Monthly Game Usage

  • Top games based on monthly usage

14. In-App Purchase Activity

  • Differences by gender
  • Differences by region
  • Differences by device platform

15. Paid Apps Activity

  • Differences by gender
  • Differences by region
  • Differences by device platform

16. Application Discovery

17. Facebook Habits of Mobile Game Respondents

Appendix – Survey Questions

Appendix – Related Companies

 

More Data, More Actionable Insights

In 2010 and 2011, social games began to show what kind of value can be created on top of social networks, and mobile games began to become and even bigger part of the pie. 2012 will be an even more important year as the industry continues to mature.

Mobile gaming, powered by virtual goods, is this year’s industry to watch. If you’re involved, or are considering jumping in, Inside Virtual Goods will be one of your most important tools.

One year of original data and exclusive in-depth reports delivered on a quarterly basis is $2,495 and contains:

  • A detailed overview of the current state of the industry
  • Specific estimates on market size by segment
  • Diagnosis of key opportunities and issues by segment

Get The Annual Membership

Get Annual Membership (Includes Report + 3 Additional Quarterly Issues): $2,495 


OR Buy Single Report: $995

The one year subscription includes three quarterly updates on key developments in the space, including future editions of our annual reports, Inside Virtual Goods: The US Virtual Goods Market 2011-2012 and Inside Virtual Goods: The Future of Social Gaming 2012. Or, you can download just this report.

About the Authors

charles-hudson-headshotCharles Hudson

Venture Partner, SoftTech VC, CEO and Co-Founder, Bionic Panda Games

Charles Hudson is a Venture Partner with SoftTech VC and the CEO and Co-Founder of Bionic Panda Games, a mobile games company based in San Francisco, CA.

Until February 2010, he was the VP of Business Development for Serious Business, a leading producer of social games. Zynga acquired Serious Business in February of 2010. Prior to Serious Business, Hudson worked at Gaia Interactive, Google, IronPort Systems, and In-Q-Tel. Hudson also founded Third Power LLC, a conference and events company that was acquired by WebMediaBrands. Charles holds an MBA and BA from Stanford University.

justin-smith-headshotJustin Smith

Founder, Inside Network

Justin Smith is the founder of Inside Network, the first service dedicated to providing news and market research to the Facebook platform, social gaming, and mobile app ecosystems. Inside Network was acquired by WebMediaBrands (NASDAQ:WEBM) in May 2011.

Prior to Inside Network, he was Head of Product at Watercooler, now Kabam, a leading social game developer on the Facebook Platform. Prior to Watercooler, Justin was an early employee at Xfire, the largest social utility for gamers, which was sold to Viacom in 2006.

Justin holds a degree in Computer Systems Engineering from Stanford University, where he was a Mayfield Fellow and a recipient of the Terman Award in Engineering.


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