EMMAs

GameAnalytics report sheds light on gaming apps' revenue and retention performance

David Murphy

Game analytics platform GameAnalytics has released its Mobile Games Benchmark report, which analyses how gamers play and pay on their smartphones.

The report highlights performance benchmarks for key metrics across the top 16 genres, including retention, session length, stickiness, conversion rate, ARPPU (Average Revenue Per Paying User) and ARPDAU (Average Revenue Per Daily Active User). GameAnalytics also partnered with Tenjin to provide CPI and eCPM benchmarks data from most of the world’s top hyper-casual publishers, shedding light on how product analytics meets marketing analytics for what’s currently the most popular genre on the app stores.

The report found that only the best games achieve a Day 1 retention of 35 per cent and Day 7 retention of 11 per cent or higher. While there may be some flexibility for mid-core titles, reaching these metrics is especially important for classic, casual and hyper-casual games.

The report highlights the gap between top-performing titles and the wider market, with the industry average for D1 retention around 25 per cent, and for D7 retention, just under 6 per cent. Before approaching a publisher, the analyst advises, game developers should aim to exceed or get as close as possible to these KPIs through extensive testing phases and a well-coordinated soft launch.

Looking further out, the top 25 per cent of games see an average Day 28 retention of around 4 per cent. These games are performing exceptionally well compared to the wider industry. That said, many “classic” type games (including Board, Card, Casino and Word), see around double these long term engagement figures, with D28 retention up to 10 per cent for the best performing titles.

The average gameplay session length ranges from 4-5 minutes (median) to 7-8 minutes for the top 25 per cent of games. Compared to last year, the average session length (ASL) for the industry has decreased by around one minute. This appears to be an ongoing trend, with the majority of game genres seeing a 30-second decrease in ASL between H2 2018 and H1 2019, suggesting a bigger shift towards – and greater adoption of – “bite-sized” games.

Casino, Card, Multiplayer and Role Playing games are the main exceptions when it comes to spending serious time playing, with the top performers showing session lengths between 13-22 minutes.

When aggregating data across all genres, GameAnalytics found a 15-20 per cent drop in ARPPU and ARPDAU from in-app purchase revenue in the top-performing segment of games. When looking specifically at game performance by genre, mid-core games showed significantly more earning potential. The median ARPPU for mid-core games is around 3-5x higher than their casual counterparts, and the top-performing Role Playing and Strategy games convert many more players than all other genres, with ARPDAU and Conversion rates that are 5-7x higher than the standard.

The report also found that eCPM for hyper-casual titles in China has grown significantly in the first half of 2019, with a median eCPM that’s now almost as high as in the US. Although a traditionally “mid-core” focused market, this trend of rising eCPM in China highlights a rapid adoption of more casual games in the world’s largest gaming economy.

When it comes to UA campaigns around the globe, hyper-casual CPIs remain the lowest in the industry at 3-5x less than most other gaming genres. According to Tenjin, the competition in tier 1 countries is extremely high, so new publishers should find the perfect balance between CPI and eCPM when searching for the right GEO to target.

With data from more than 1.2bn monthly active users across nearly 100,000 games, this is also GameAnalytics’ largest report to date. In this report, GameAnalytics highlights the top 25 per cent, the median, and the bottom 25 per cent quantiles of game performance to help developers and publishers measure the relative performance of their titles.

You can read the full report here.

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