Almost 40% of Americans Play Freemium Games

Almost 40% of Americans Play Freemium Games

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The free-to-play market is widespread, lucrative, and ruled by women.

From Facebook to the MMO scene, free-to-play games are everywhere. In fact, statistically speaking, if you're an American, there's a 38% chance that you've played one - and if you're female, you've probably stuck with it for a while. While so-called "freemium" games don't seem to be making a huge impression on the traditional young male gamer audience, this likely makes very little difference to the free-to-play developers, who can count on an average of 40% of players to make at least one in-game payment.

In a survey of over 6000 children and adults, the ubiquitous market-analyzing NPD Group discovered some edifying statistics about free-to-play gaming habits among a number of demographics. In addition to measuring the penetration of and payment rate for freemium games in the American market, the NPD Group determined that women are "significantly more likely" to play these games. 84% of those who play freemium games come back after their initial foray, while 15% abandon them entirely. While men are more likely to pay up than their female counterparts, especially within the first month of play, the coveted 13-34 male demographic generally does not show much interest in freemium games. According to Anita Frazier, an NPD analyst, this is because the demographic includes many core gamers, who are used to a very different kind of experience than what free-to-play games generally offer. "At a minimum," said Frazier, "for these gamers a freemium game would provide a different experience, like a snack versus a full meal."

With the proliferation of more traditional core games, like Age of Empires Online and Firefall, the same survey could yield very different results a few years down the road. However, while the survey does not necessarily represent every gamer or developer's experience, 6000 participants is a strong sample size. Even if the data doesn't reveal anything shocking, the message is suggestive: There's a lot of money to be made in free-to-play games by capitalizing on a female demographic, but since men seem to have deeper pockets where freemium games are concerned, the core gamer market could be an untapped goldmine. All it will take is the right developer with the right game.

Source: Gamasutra

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Can someone clear up what "Freemium" games actually are?

At this time my brains a little too overworked by lack of sleep and Gainax anime to figure it out on my own.

gigastar:
Can someone clear up what "Freemium" games actually are?

At this time my brains a little too overworked by lack of sleep and Gainax anime to figure it out on my own.

any from to play on line game.

MMO wise you have games like City of Heroes, Vindictus and Dungeon Fighter as example

for everything else ... mostly the crap on face book.

-'Almost 40% of the 6,000 Americans We Asked, Have Played Freemium Games At Least Once'-

There ya go, fixed the title for you.

OT: A few thousand people doesn't impress me much.... unless they were all in the same place, at the same time. Maybe one day I'll find a free to play of my own to love and cherish.

I can only dream.

Firefall? Firefall? FIREFALL? Planetside 2 is coming. Prepare the way.

Marshall Honorof:
The free-to-play market is widespread, lucrative, and ruled by women.

Women are ruining gaming!

It's a pretty nice sample size. My favorite bit is the line where it says, "if you are American then you are 38% likely to enjoy Freemium games"... or some such thing. I'm clearly paraphrasing. But, someone needs to learn what statistics mean, lol...

That is the new corporate model, so I'm automatically against it simply because it's the corporate aspect (EA, Activision, Ubisoft) that is ruining gaming. I am starting to see it more and more. People enjoy the games, which is fine, but I have seen some gamer who will not pay for a game anymore. That is fine and dandy, but be sensible and don't be so narrow minded about it.

As a side note, I'm in the Firefall Beta and I'm a bit disappointed. You need to group to do everything. I find people willing to group but all they want to do is run around and grind. It's making me nuts. I daresay, it may be the people who are going to ruin that game.

Well... I'd say that's about right. I mean, you've got damn near EVERYTHING there already! You've got everything from your arena-multiplayer games like Brawl Busters and Team Fortress 2, to your co-op dungeon crawlers like Spiral Knights, to your MUMMORPUGERS (Ohlord there's too many to count there) to your long-term idle games like Farmville and Travian. Freemium has come to the point where it covers pretty much all the bases, and like the article mentions it's only growing more and more.

Sober Thal:
-'Almost 40% of the 6,000 Americans We Asked, Have Played Freemium Games At Least Once'-

There ya go, fixed the title for you.

OT: A few thousand people doesn't impress me much.... unless they were all in the same place, at the same time. Maybe one day I'll find a free to play of my own to love and cherish.

I can only dream.

So? That is how statistics works, yo. You can't contact every single member of the population, so you get a suitably random, suitably large sample and extrapolate from that. Statisticians have been conducting experiments this way for years. The title works. :/

OT: Not surprising. Most are easy to find (being advertised every freaking where), run on most everything under the sun, and are fairly easy to pick up and play. Seems pretty obvious they would have high penetration, and I suspect that will only increase over time.

Free to play games popular? It could be because other AAA games are pretty much trying to be F2P but without the free part.

BreakfastMan:

Sober Thal:
-'Almost 40% of the 6,000 Americans We Asked, Have Played Freemium Games At Least Once'-

There ya go, fixed the title for you.

OT: A few thousand people doesn't impress me much.... unless they were all in the same place, at the same time. Maybe one day I'll find a free to play of my own to love and cherish.

I can only dream.

So? That is how statistics works, yo. You can't contact every single member of the population, so you get a suitably random, suitably large sample and extrapolate from that. Statisticians have been conducting experiments this way for years. The title works. :/

I know, christ, someone could do a study of 80% of the population and people will still call it skewed because that last 20% are important for some reason. Unless there's a correlating factor here such as posting this survey on facebook where there are shitloads of freemium games kicking about then it's perfectly valid.

OT: I hate freemium so, so much but Tribes:Ascend is too fun to play. Dichotomy: I'm at the point where I've unlocked everything I want, problem is I'm now unfairly more powerful than free players. I don't know where to go from that.

Mother of god... Oh well, at least these peons are providing the gaming industry with some easy moolah.

Have F2P game article about how popular F2P games are. Don't mention League of Legends. Yeah, ok.

Sober Thal:
-'Almost 40% of the 6,000 Americans We Asked, Have Played Freemium Games At Least Once'-

There ya go, fixed the title for you.

OT: A few thousand people doesn't impress me much.... unless they were all in the same place, at the same time. Maybe one day I'll find a free to play of my own to love and cherish.

I can only dream.

6000 is a really good sample size. Really good. That doesn't mean the sample is good, if that was 6000 people who were on fb for example, you would have a higher percentage than normal. If they were in a gun store, on the other hand, the percentage would be lower than normal. However, if it was a random sampling like most marketing surveys are, then 6000 is a phenomenal sample size.

Shh! Don't tell the developers that! We'll be ruined!

Yep I play Feemiums every couple of months for a few months then get board.

The last one I played was Vindictus (mobinogi heroes) from Nexon, the limited daily questing combined with the action oriented game play and a wholesale lack of grinding was very appealing. Then they raised the level cap opened a new area and made you grind the hell out of it...

I've never paid a dime to the free-to-play games.

I'll probably try League of Legends again soon.

Baresark:
My favorite bit is the line where it says, "if you are American then you are 38% likely to enjoy Freemium games"... or some such thing. I'm clearly paraphrasing. But, someone needs to learn what statistics mean, lol...

That's one hell of a paraphrase... they never mentioned enjoyment, they merely said there's a 38% chance that you've played one.

And that's how statistics work.

Draconalis:

Baresark:
My favorite bit is the line where it says, "if you are American then you are 38% likely to enjoy Freemium games"... or some such thing. I'm clearly paraphrasing. But, someone needs to learn what statistics mean, lol...

That's one hell of a paraphrase... they never mentioned enjoyment, they merely said there's a 38% chance that you've played one.

And that's how statistics work.

Statistics never apply to individuals. That is what I meant. They only apply to samples of data covering groups.

You are quite correct though, I paraphrased badly.

if you're an American, there's a 38% chance that you've played one

But, you cannot refer to individuals then give a probability, it doesn't work that way. And this is a bit of English snob but, "if you're an american" is a direct reference to a single individual. Another way I have seen statistics misused is when people get a DUI, they are told they are 60% more likely to re-offend, but it's not true. The truth is that 60% of all people who have gotten a DUI re-offend, but no individual is more or less likely to re-offend based on having gotten one.

Baresark:
snip

I get and understand what you're saying in terms of the idea of applying statistics to a single person as if it were fact, but I believe that the key words here are "chance" and "likely." It's not confirmed that you have/are, but there's a chance that you might be, and that chance is quantified as 40/60% based on a survey of your peers.

I'm a little out of my element when it comes to syntax of the English language on this level though, It's not something I can point at a dictionary and say "No... this is what this word means" so I admit I might be wrong.

Baneat:

BreakfastMan:
[quote="Sober Thal" post="7.372759.14386111"]-'Almost 40% of the 6,000 Americans We Asked, Have Played Freemium Games At Least Once'-

There ya go, fixed the title for you.

OT: A few thousand people doesn't impress me much.... unless they were all in the same place, at the same time. Maybe one day I'll find a free to play of my own to love and cherish.

So? That is how statistics works, yo. You can't contact every single member of the population, so you get a suitably random, suitably large sample and extrapolate from that. Statisticians have been conducting experiments this way for years. The title works. :/

I know, christ, someone could do a study of 80% of the population and people will still call it skewed because that last 20% are important for some reason. Unless there's a correlating factor here such as posting this survey on facebook where there are shitloads of freemium games kicking about then it's perfectly valid.

OT: I hate freemium so, so much but Tribes:Ascend is too fun to play. Dichotomy: I'm at the point where I've unlocked everything I want, problem is I'm now unfairly more powerful than free players. I don't know where to go from that.

I had a college class on statistics my last semester, so I understand how they work. But honestly, I still think their shit.

captcha: "namby-pamby" So, captcha you've started in on me too I see. Well, I don't think I appreciate the name-calling. So, right back at you smug son of a bitch.

Draconalis:

Baresark:
snip

I get and understand what you're saying in terms of the idea of applying statistics to a single person as if it were fact, but I believe that the key words here are "chance" and "likely." It's not confirmed that you have/are, but there's a chance that you might be, and that chance is quantified as 40/60% based on a survey of your peers.

I'm a little out of my element when it comes to syntax of the English language on this level though, It's not something I can point at a dictionary and say "No... this is what this word means" so I admit I might be wrong.

That is a common misconception. That probability doesn't mean anything in real world terms to individuals. As an example I read that is possibly the best explanation of this: the genetic makeup of jamaica is 90% African and 10% European. But as a member of that society, you are not 90% African and 10% European. You could be 100% of either, or 0% of either, or any of the other things in between. The probability only has any indication what so ever of a sample size of the population. Statistics are almost completely meaningless to individuals.

I'm not trying to be argumentative, but statistical data like this gets misused all the time when it is in fact not representative of anything having to do with probability of any individual. It's only representative of my town, or my circle of friends (though as I'm sure you know, if it was just a group of my friends, the law of small numbers rules the day and it not indicative of society in any way or form).

Baresark:
Snip

Valid points, and I didn't take it as argumentative at all. I also learned something, so it's been a good day.

DVS BSTrD:

Marshall Honorof:
The free-to-play market is widespread, lucrative, and ruled by women.

Women are ruining gaming!

Yeah, with their tampons and feelings and shit!

GET ME A CHAINSAW AND SOME MEAT, ERRRRRRRRRRRGH!

TheVioletBandit:
I had a college class on statistics my last semester, so I understand how they work. But honestly, I still think their shit.

I did not take a college class on statistics and can confirm they are indeed shit.

You go with your gut.

Draconalis:

Baresark:
Snip

Valid points, and I didn't take it as argumentative at all. I also learned something, so it's been a good day.

I saw you responded which made me think I was just being pig headed, which if you ever look at my post history, is pretty easy for me. I can get passionate (which I'm told is code for being a prick) about things that I have read extensively about. But I always do that and if someone else is equally or even more qualified (which you obviously may be), it becomes an afterthought. I certainly didn't mean to think that I knew more than you without being informed. I also feel the extent to which statistical data is used to improperly represent information is absolutely maddening. I also am aware that the author of this story is only using the data as he has seen it used many many times, so he is not to blame at all.

Baresark:
snip

The misuse of statistical data really is pretty damn rampant. I can get behind you with that 100%.

All I know is I work in retail and sell lots, Lots, LOTS more F2P gamecards than actual games. I have several customers who spend over $100 each week on Facebook games. Seems to be very lucrative to the companies for what is generally sub-par gaming.

On a personal note, I play a lot of F2P Team Fortress 2, and spend way too much money on it too!

And what gets me, the amount of complaining I hear about game prices. People refuse to spend $60 for Battlefield 3, instead spending hundreds of dollars on Gang Wars. Could have bought a new "Oh my God they're way over-priced!" PS3 each month for what they're spending. If you're deciding to put your money towards less quality merchandise instead, then quit complaining!

Sober Thal:
-'Almost 40% of the 6,000 Americans We Asked, Have Played Freemium Games At Least Once'-

There ya go, fixed the title for you.

OT: A few thousand people doesn't impress me much.... unless they were all in the same place, at the same time. Maybe one day I'll find a free to play of my own to love and cherish.

I can only dream.

tries, team fortress 2 and league of legends just to name 3 very good free do play games.

Baneat:
OT: I hate freemium so, so much but Tribes:Ascend is too fun to play. Dichotomy: I'm at the point where I've unlocked everything I want, problem is I'm now unfairly more powerful than free players. I don't know where to go from that.

why do you hate freemium, also when I started playing tribes I was able to kick peoples asses using just the soldier with no unlocks, while the unlock make you slightly more powerful they don't make you unfairly more powerful.

OT: don't we already know that freemium is a very popular business model?

Sober Thal:
-'Almost 40% of the 6,000 Americans We Asked, Have [/i]payed for[/i] Freemium Games At Least Once'-

There you go, fixed that for ya.

Not american, but guilty as charged, have tried 3 freemium games, play 1, have made 1 transaction.

Also, freemium is nothing new. The oldest ever graphic mmorpg is freemium (tibia).

these studies are as solid as water

nuba km:

Sober Thal:
-'Almost 40% of the 6,000 Americans We Asked, Have Played Freemium Games At Least Once'-

There ya go, fixed the title for you.

OT: A few thousand people doesn't impress me much.... unless they were all in the same place, at the same time. Maybe one day I'll find a free to play of my own to love and cherish.

I can only dream.

tries, team fortress 2 and league of legends just to name 3 very good free do play games.

Baneat:
OT: I hate freemium so, so much but Tribes:Ascend is too fun to play. Dichotomy: I'm at the point where I've unlocked everything I want, problem is I'm now unfairly more powerful than free players. I don't know where to go from that.

why do you hate freemium, also when I started playing tribes I was able to kick peoples asses using just the soldier with no unlocks, while the unlock make you slightly more powerful they don't make you unfairly more powerful.

OT: don't we already know that freemium is a very popular business model?

The plasma gun, jackal, thumper, X1+discs and mines are freakin huge upgrades to their respective class. a 75K unlock (Which would be a huge amount for a F2P) is required to make the DMB what he's supposed to be, Heavy on Flag.

Against lowish levels I definitely feel unfairly powerful, by quite a bit. I'm often thinking the only reason I survived x encounter was cause I could afford the X1 LMG, which is well out of reach for any sane free-to-player.

Plasma gun will be nerfed, but it's just wtfpwn every class atm. It makes the Raider a clear superior to the Soldier in its own role and others.

The Jackal is also immensely powerful. The Stealthfusor was an example of not being able to buy power, merely versatility at cost but the Jackal is just unbelievable.

I'd like to think I'm an amazing player, but how can I tell when I'm backed by all these expensive, powerful guns?

Baneat:

nuba km:

Sober Thal:
-'Almost 40% of the 6,000 Americans We Asked, Have Played Freemium Games At Least Once'-

There ya go, fixed the title for you.

OT: A few thousand people doesn't impress me much.... unless they were all in the same place, at the same time. Maybe one day I'll find a free to play of my own to love and cherish.

I can only dream.

tries, team fortress 2 and league of legends just to name 3 very good free do play games.

Baneat:
OT: I hate freemium so, so much but Tribes:Ascend is too fun to play. Dichotomy: I'm at the point where I've unlocked everything I want, problem is I'm now unfairly more powerful than free players. I don't know where to go from that.

why do you hate freemium, also when I started playing tribes I was able to kick peoples asses using just the soldier with no unlocks, while the unlock make you slightly more powerful they don't make you unfairly more powerful.

OT: don't we already know that freemium is a very popular business model?

The plasma gun, jackal, thumper, X1+discs and mines are freakin huge upgrades to their respective class. a 75K unlock (Which would be a huge amount for a F2P) is required to make the DMB what he's supposed to be, Heavy on Flag.

Against lowish levels I definitely feel unfairly powerful, by quite a bit. I'm often thinking the only reason I survived x encounter was cause I could afford the X1 LMG, which is well out of reach for any sane free-to-player.

Plasma gun will be nerfed, but it's just wtfpwn every class atm. It makes the Raider a clear superior to the Soldier in its own role and others.

The Jackal is also immensely powerful. The Stealthfusor was an example of not being able to buy power, merely versatility at cost but the Jackal is just unbelievable.

I'd like to think I'm an amazing player, but how can I tell when I'm backed by all these expensive, powerful guns?

I haven't seen the plasma gun in action so I can't say anything about that. I have used the thumper with my soldier so I don't think it is any better then the technicians smg, its hard to tell as they are very different guns but using the assault rifle and thumper its often just a matter of situation for which is better. The jackal is the only one which I definitely feel is noticeably more powerful compared to other weapons in the game, I just think that was more of a accidental imbalance and will hopefully be fixed, if not then I will be angry. I will also agree that they need to cut the prices of unlocking new weapons by at about half. Though I will raise my previous point of I was level 1 with no unlocks and I could still fight as good as people with upgrades.

nuba km:

I haven't seen the plasma gun in action so I can't say anything about that. I have used the thumper with my soldier so I don't think it is any better then the technicians smg, its hard to tell as they are very different guns but using the assault rifle and thumper its often just a matter of situation for which is better. The jackal is the only one which I definitely feel is noticeably more powerful compared to other weapons in the game, I just think that was more of a accidental imbalance and will hopefully be fixed, if not then I will be angry. I will also agree that they need to cut the prices of unlocking new weapons by at about half. Though I will raise my previous point of I was level 1 with no unlocks and I could still fight as good as people with upgrades.

Tech thumper is way more powerful than the thumper DX, especially given the fact that a TCN fights mostly indoors. Jackal has had its nerf, probably wont be touched again.

And when you're level one, you get matched with people no higher than level 6.

 

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