Turning German Players into Payers: Understanding the Gaming Payments Experience in a $4.7 Billion Market
German gamers represent an interesting challenge to game developers and publishers. Compared to their gaming peers in other countries, German gamers are the hardest to convert, with the lowest payer/player ratio (70%) and on average 20 percent lower spending levels per player than in the U.S. and U.K. And yet, Germany tops the gaming revenue ranks in Western Europe with an annual forecast of USD $4.7 billion. Simply put, cracking the conversion code can be immensely profitable.
To gain a better understanding of the gamers fueling this lucrative market, ACI Worldwide and Newzoo conducted a consumer insights study centered around payment motivations, behaviors and preferences.
Understanding the paying gamer
When it comes to gaming platforms, Germans list mobile as their platform of choice, with PC gaming a close second. Consoles may not be the top choice for gaming, but they do have a higher percentage of payers (63%) than PC (55%) and mobile (43%). Though mobile has clearly surpassed more traditional gaming platforms in popularity, consoles and PC still drive greater in-game conversions.
In terms of paying gamers, German men are more likely to be payers across all three gaming platforms, but the gap shrinks to just 5 percent for consoles. PC is the platform of choice for younger payers, as 77 percent of 18-29-year-old gamers are considered average/big spenders (spending at least $5 per month on the relevant platform). Older payers (those aged 30-40) are more likely to be big spenders on consoles (72%) and mobile (50%) than their younger counterparts. Paying gamers are found to be 10 percent more likely to compete in tournaments and more likely to keep playing a game that offers loyalty/reward programs. Adding competitive elements or reward programs can prove lucrative for game developers.
What are gamers buying and what motivates them to pay?
German gamers spend their money in a number of ways. In terms of games themselves, digital are far more popular then boxed and disc games. This move to digital is being driven by younger gamers who are far less likely than older gamers to buy traditional boxed formats. In terms of in-game purchases, DLC and expansion packs are the most popular purchases for men, with power-ups being the most popular with women. Playable characters are popular amongst both men and women, being purchased by 44 percent and 41 percent of gamers respectively.
For those who do not spend on games, 50 percent note that it’s due to dissatisfaction with the free experience. For developers in the mobile market, where most games are free-to-play, this presents quite the challenge. Game makers must get creative in adding value to the free experience.
When it comes to paying, German gamers select their payment methods based on their ability to offer a seamless process. Germans overwhelmingly list PayPal as the payment method they feel most positive about, and are also happy with the invoice payment option.
To learn more about these findings and find deeper insights into payment types and preferences, access the full report, “Turning Players into Payers.”
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