Gamers want real-time offers and micro-transactions — but only if they are useful. This is a key finding from The Psychology of Waiting, a survey of 2,000 US consumers conducted by VansonBourne and sponsored by VoltDB. Almost 85% of consumers play online games and/or mobile games; approximately 44% of the world’s internet population plays some form of online game.
What the Study Revealed About Real-time
Developers have been utilizing various monetization strategies, including real-time offers and micro-transactions. These are the popups that appear in Candy Crush offering hearts when you’ve lost them all, for example. Real-time offers allow players to keep playing and developers to monetize their games. Such offers are not a new idea — 84% of people who play games report seeing them. Despite the large number of impressions, only 38% report using them with some regularity.
What explains this discrepancy? One explanation is that the offers are not properly personalized. The data supports this theory: under 30% of in-game real-time offers are relevant and timely. In addition, offer relevance (“Is this something I can use?”) and timeliness (“Can I use it right now?”), along with price, comprised the three most important criteria for selecting offers. This makes sense on a conceptual level as well. If an offer is not both relevant and timely, players are less likely to use it.
The Pay-off of Real-time Offers
The rewards of proper real-time offers can be great: 73% of players say they want real-time offers — but only if they are both timely and relevant. However, those offers need to meet both of those criteria. Half of gamers said that irrelevant or untimely offers negatively affect their playing experience, making them unlikely to play again.
Utilized correctly, real-time offers can be a great monetization method and can keep players engaged. However, this is only true if you can deliver proper personalized real-time offers.