It’s no secret that the future of online gaming is social. This is in large part thanks to Zynga, the largest and most prolific social networking game development company in the industry. The success of these types of games stems from the fact that they’re played on social platforms and mobile devices, and for the most part, they’re free. As a result, it seems like you can’t scroll through your Facebook newsfeed without seeing someone’s update about the number of of eggs they’ve collected in Farmville or demanding a rematch in their latest Word with Friends battle.
Yet, despite being billed as a largely free enterprise, a growing number of gamers are spending actual money (by purchasing credits) to advance the experience or get ahead in their games. So, we decided to dig a little deeper and find out which of the social games online gamers play the most and whether or not they actually spend money purchasing credits. Using SurveyMonkey Audience, we gathered feedback from 500 respondents. Since we wanted responses from a specific population (online gamers), we selected our respondents accordingly, surveying only those who had played online or mobile games in the past 30 days.
When asked which of these popular games they played, 35% of respondents reported they had played one of Zynga’s top titles. Words with Friends was the most popular with 24% of respondents replying they had played the game in the past 30 days. Draw Something (11%) and Farmville (5%) were the next most popular titles.
When asked if they actually purchased credits for items within a game like additional lives, weapons, or coins, 26% of respondents reported they had.
26% of respondents reported that they had bought credits to purchase in-game items like additional lives, weapons, or coins. For those the remaining 74% of respondents who had not purchased credits, we used our text analysis to surface the most commonly occurring reasons why they hadn’t done so. We can categorize these open-ended comments to find common themes or responses in the data, but examining the answers in their raw format also provides valuable insights.
Unsurprisingly, the most popular reason was the price of these items and a lack of money to spend. Additionally, respondents reported they simply didn’t have the desire, interest, or need to purchase credits. Click here to see the full set of responses.
Are you an online gamer (or developer) interested in learning more about the habits and preferences of your fellow fans? Which are you favorite social games to play? Sound off in the comments section below.