In Analytics insights, Games Analytics

Deep-data analytics and real-time player marketing platform deltaDNA and Newzoo, the world leader in mobile market intelligence, have released a new study outlining which nations’ mobile gamers have got what it takes to top the medal table.

The study compares performance data from thirty-two million mobile gamers across one hundred casual free-to-play mobile games, over a six-month period. Every nation has gone head-to-head across seven gaming disciplines, with the gold, silver and bronze medals being awarded to those nations that excel. So, under starters orders – let’s get ready, set, go!


So who comes back to do a second lap and who keeps going on and on and on? We awarded medals for Day One (D1) Retention and Day 30 Retention to find the nations with the best sprinters and endurance gamers. For D1 Retention, Austria and Argentina fought it out for the line on 49% and 48% respectively. Switzerland was a little way back on 46%; while Japan came trailing in last on 37%. In the Endurance category, there was a strong loyal showing from Europe with the Czech Republic the clear leaders on 16%. Spain (13%) and Austria (12%) fought hard to be the fastest losers. If you want long-term loyalty it is best to avoid Thailand as they came last with only 7%.


Grrrr! So who plays hardest and fastest? We chose to measure the number of raw events per minute to find out the most hostile players in the world. In the gaming world, the mobile gamers who don’t just want to beat your game but also want to make it cry come from South Africa, by a long way! South Africa averaged 8,300 raw events per minute; destroying second place Brazil on 5600 and third placed Russia on 4,100. So if you’ve got a first player shooter game running in South Africa, you had better start offering access to your super mega blaster! If diffidence is your thing, then Belgium came last on only 500 raw events per minute.


Raw aggression isn’t the same as progress though. We measured strategic ability by counting the number of missions completed per session. In gold medal position came Denmark on 15 missions per session, silver goes to Chile on 12 and Spain gets the bronze on 11. Our least strategic players come from Vietnam who averaged only 5.


With the use of performance enhancements dominating the news, we’ve got two gold medals up for grabs in this category which best represents mobile gamers who use their credit cards to support their progress. Which countries are most likely to spend at all (Payer Share) and which countries spend the most (Average Revenue per Daily Active User – ARPDAU). Our Payer Share medals went to Australia (5%) Switzerland (4.8%) and the UK (4.6%) while our Big Spenders medals go to Switzerland ($0.18), Australia again on ($0.14) and in third place is the USA ($0.11). If you are looking for the last in the big spend categories, that honour goes to South America with Brazil having a 7% payer fraction and Argentina only spending $0.02 per daily active user.


Payer fractions and average spend are interesting, but sometimes size matters and the bigger the better. So keeping with our financial theme, we looked at the nations with the greatest mobile revenues in 2016. China won the gold medal here with $10.1bn. USA got the silver medal with $6.8bn and Japan was a close run third with $6.5bn.


Who do we think are going to be the winners in four years’ time? Based on the forecast Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) from 2016-19 inclusive, we expect to be handing medals to India 39.1%, Indonesia on 38.9% and the Philippines on 36.5%.

Bonus Medal – Best kit

We’ve seen some sports dominated by technology, like cycling and swimming. So who has the best phones? We looked at the % of mobile gamers on the latest operating systems, and the winner was Germany (41%), Taiwan (38%) and Denmark (37%). If you were thinking that just because the top three were close, everyone would have similar results, Brazil came last with 7%.

medals table
Mark Robinson CEO of deltaDNA said:

“This is just a bit of fun but it goes to show the wide variation in national playing characteristics. These figures are national averages which means the disparity between playing styles of individual players is much greater. It’s essential for games to understand and segment mobile gamers by their playing style and provide them with personalized experiences that support their gameplay characteristics or they could run the real risk of losing players early which is particular tragedy in free to play games.”

Peter Warman CEO of Newzoo added:

“It’s vital that game developers understand the cultural differences between nations. The choices they make about testing games and focusing precious resource on player marketing and acquisition can often be the difference between a hit or a miss. While these figures represent a snapshot taken over the two months, we see noticeable changes over time and it is important to keep abreast of these trends.”

If you liked this article read ‘5 ways to deliver a great free to play game experience’.

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