Mobile gamers would rather watch ads than pay for in-game currency

When it comes to the cost and monetisation of mobile games, most Australians are satisfied with transparency from developers around costs, while more prefer to watch an advertisement rather than spend real currency on a game.

The insights were released following a mobile gaming study by market research and tech company Toluna, which surveyed 1,008 mobile gamers in Australia aged 16 to 45.

Toluna found that mobile gamers understand the presence of ads is necessary in mobile games, but desire more incentive or rewards for taking the time to watch in-game ads.

64% said how fair a mobile publisher is with their monetisation has a major impact on their decision to purchase or download a game, but only 26% were dissatisfied with the transparency of mobile gaming costs.

When it came to ads and in-app purchases in free games, 62% of mobile games said they were acceptable, and 32% of respondents said they’d prefer to watch an ad to win in-game currency, compared to 26% who would rather pay for currency.

Toluna country director ANZ, Sej Patel, said that players generally accepted the need for monetisation, especially in free to download mobile games.

“Mobile gaming has exploded in the last 12 months as Australians spent more time at home, and more time on mobile devices, which has opened up more opportunities for developers and advertisers alike.

“The findings show that although players accept the need for monetisation in gaming, transparency about how developers make money is important.”

How in-game ads appeared also affected user satisfaction, with 45% of respondents unhappy with ads that completely took over the screen.

In terms of in-app purchases, currency was the most purchased (55%), followed by extra lives (38%), gear (36%) and skins/character customisation (32%).

Patel added: “These insights create an opportunity for advertisers to better understand mobile gamers and where they are prepared to trade off ads versus in-app purchases. 

“Games will provide more return on investment when advertising and in-app purchases are managed strategically, particularly on games that are free to download, and where they offer gamers incentives such as extra lives or health.”


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.