When it comes to freemium games, revenue remains “skewed towards a small group of most active spenders”, with just 0.23 per cent of all players accounting for 64 per cent of revenue, a report by Swrve, a mobile marketing automation platform, said.

This shows the importance of attracting targeted players to the game, identifying them early and ensuring the best possible in-game experience to maximise return on investment, the ‘2015 Mobile Monetisation Report’ suggests.

The report, restricted to a single month of data (January 2015) and excluding any revenue from advertising, also found that the percentage of players who made real in-game purchases in January rose to 2.3 per cent (from 1.5 per cent in 2014), and average monthly spend was $29.17 per game surveyed, up from $22 in the same month last year, an increase of nearly 33 per cent.

This is “likely reflecting the increased sophistication of mobile marketing efforts in this area,” Swrve said.

“There’s no doubt that players are spending more in games, or at least spending more within the games where they spend,” the study notes.

It found that of paying customers, 44 per cent made one purchase, while 20 per cent made five or more. The typical paying player makes 3.5 purchases per month, at an average purchase price of $8.27.

The average time to first purchase is only 15 hours, down from under 24 hours in 2014 – “making it clear that successful titles incentivise early spend.”

According to Christopher Dean, Swrve CEO, “the mobile games space is changing and growing”.

“Although still reliant on a relatively small but growing number of players, there is a clear trend towards a broader payer base, and a more sophisticated approach to driving revenues. We’re leaving the ‘acquisition phase’ of mobile, as developers realise that success is determined by what happens after the install,” he added.