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Mobile Game Marketers: North American Gamers 260% More Likely Than EMEA Counterparts, 94% More Likely Than APAC Users to Make In-App Purchases

New Liftoff report based on 7.9 billion ad impressions and 3.6 million app installs demonstrates America is still the king of in-game revenue

Palo Alto, CA – WEBWIRE

Liftoff, the leader in performance-driven mobile user acquisition, today released a new data report exploring global engagement and in-app purchase behavior in mobile gaming. The report uncovers surprising trends across gaming categories, plus regional differences between the  U.S., Europe and the Middle East (EMEA) and Asia-Pacific (APAC).

Liftoff works with a range of leading mobile gaming companies including Storm8, Wooga and InfiApps. Based on an analysis of more than 7.9 billion mobile ad impressions and 3.6 million app installs collected between October 2015 - October 2016 from more than 180 global gaming apps, Liftoff’s report found the following:

Gaming app purchasing behavior varies greatly by geography.

When it comes to likelihood to make an in-app mobile game purchase, Liftoff’s findings showed a great amount of divergence between the three geographic regions analyzed. In North America, the install-to-purchase engagement rate is 94 percent higher than in APAC, and nearly 4x higher than in EMEA.

These differences are staggering, considering the fact that China alone had 366 million mobile gamers during the first half of 2015--enough to replace the entire US and Canadian populations and still have a few million users left over. Looking at engagement and purchase data, it is clear that North Americans are more willing to shell out for mobile games than their European and Asia-Pacific counterparts.

This data suggests that if mobile marketers want to optimize their business and better engage users, they should focus on quality over quantity--and that means directing efforts to North America.

“As we expand our business into APAC, we’re interested to see how mobile engagement varies in regions across the globe,” said Mark Ellis, Liftoff’s CEO. “Only by analyzing in-app behavior throughout the world can marketers truly understand how to target the best users and get the most value out of their marketing spend.”

Mobile card game players are 241% more likely to purchase in-app than action-adventure players.

There are also surprising contrasts between gaming app subcategories, specifically those that differ in ease of gameplay, particularly action-adventure games compared to card games. While one might think that the level of involvement required by action-adventure games--with gameplay that emphasizes problem-solving and draws from a complex storyline--would result in the most engaged users, Liftoff’s data suggests the opposite: mobile card gamers are nearly 3.5x more likely to make an in-app purchase than those that play action-adventure games.

While the reasons behind increased user engagement in mobile card games are unclear, one possibility is  that simple rules and straightforward gameplay often result in increased overall gameplay and frequency of in-app purchases. Whatever the cause, there is ample evidence that marketers can wring high value out of card game players.

Women dominate the mobile gaming market.

Historically, men have been stereotyped as gamers, while women tend be linked to commerce. But when it comes to mobile, Liftoff’s data tells another story: according to the report, women beat out men in gaming app engagement.

While it may initially be less expensive to acquire male players, the extra effort to acquire females pays off in the end--women lead in registrations and in-app purchases, making them more cost-effective to acquire overall. Although mobile gaming marketers pay 12.2 percent less to acquire male users than females, the latter actually registers 37 percent more often and spends money 31 percent more often than males.

The overall conversion rate for gaming apps is above average compared to other app categories.

The data gathered from the period October 2015 - October 2016 shows that the average install-to-purchase rate for mobile games was above 8 percent, which is higher than other common app categories, including shopping, finance, and utility.

In 2015, mobile games generated approximately 85 percent of the total mobile app market revenue -- $34.8 billion worldwide. Liftoff’s data confirms that mobile games continue to account for the lion’s share of revenue on mobile, scoring them the top spot on the app leaderboard.

“Since working with Liftoff, we’ve seen a 34% lift in conversions. They also understand the unique challenges app marketers face in mobile gaming, and thus are able to help us optimize our business,” said David Yi, User Acquisition Manager at Storm8. “Coupled with the insights they’re able to share from an incredible depth and breadth of mobile data, Liftoff has proven to be an invaluable partner for us and all app marketers.”

To learn more about Liftoff and view the complete findings, download the full report here:


The Liftoff 2017 Mobile Gaming Apps Report is based on an analysis of internal data from October 2015 - October 2016, including 7,864,572,731 ad impressions with 3,643,835 app installs. The report measured the costs and engagement rates associated with marketing mobile games, as well as tracked cost of installs, registrations, and in-app purchases. It also features data broken out by month, platform (iOS and Android), gender, and region. Furthermore, Liftoff compared data around popular gaming categories including action-adventure, card, casino, casual, puzzle, and strategy.

About Liftoff

Liftoff is a performance-based mobile app marketing and retargeting platform which uses post-install user data to run true cost-per-action user acquisition and retention campaigns. Powered by advanced machine learning and lookalike targeting, Liftoff campaigns are optimized to drive actions beyond the install, like booking a hotel, making a reservation, or renewing a subscription. Based in Palo Alto, CA, Liftoff works with the leading app publishers and brands.


 Mobile Gaming
 Mobile Marketing
 Game Apps

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