Revenue generated by so-called ‘Freemium’ gaming apps surpassed that of traditional paid-for (Premium) games on Apple’s App Store last month, according to a new study by apps analytics firm Flurry. The study tracked the top 100 grossing games in January and June of this year on the iOS platform. It found that Freemium apps represented 39 percent of the top gaming revenue generated on the App Store in January, but rose to account for 65 percent by last month.
“The traction of the Freemium business model is undeniable and growing fast,” said Flurry’s Jeferson Valadares in a blog post. “In fact, with games often occupying more than 75 percent of all top 100 grossing apps in the app store, it’s the single most dominating business model in the mobile apps industry today.”
Freemium apps use the free-to-play model, where the game is given away for free, and then the consumer can purchase virtual currency and/or virtual goods through in-app-purchases. This is in contrast to the Premium model, which simply means charges for the download.
Flurry data shows that the number of people who spend money in a free game ranges from 0.5 percent to 6 percent depending on the quality of the game and its core mechanics. “Although this means that more than 90 percent of players will not spend a single penny, it also means that players who love your game spend much more than the US$0.99 you were considering charging for the app,” said Valadares. “It’s not unheard of for individual players to spend into the tens of thousands in a game they like.”