The research firm Newzoo released a report last week about “Big Spenders”: the subset of mobile gamers who spend a lot of money on their games. It seems these guys (and they are mostly guys) spend money on console games, too.

A lot of people avidly play mobile games without ever spending any money on them. NewZoo calls them “free marketers.” About 5% of mobile gamers fit this profile. On the other end of the spectrum, Big Spenders are defined as people who spend more than $25 a month on mobile games. They make up a little less than 3% of all mobile gamers.

Approximately 67% of mobile Big Spenders are male, and most of them are between 21 and 35.  This group also spends money on console and PC gaming. And they watch a lot of content about video games on Youtube and Twitch.

But these avid gamers aren’t just into video games. They also watch and participate in sports. “They are far more likely to participate in sports than non-paying mobile gamers.”

This data makes things a little easier for marketers. If they know how to reach mobile Big Spenders, they can sell them even more in-game boosts. The crossover between mobile game spenders and sports fans certainly explains all the Clash of Clans ads on the Superbowl broadcast.

Big Spenders are also called “Whales,” a term borrowed from the casino industry. Reaching the  folks who are willing to spend big money every month on mobile games has become more important to game companies as the industry shifts to the free-to-play model.  With in-game purchases approaching $24 billion this year, it’s easy to see why everyone is interested in finding out more about the 3% of players who are willing to spend big money on mobile games.

Linda Breneman

Linda Breneman

Linda learned to play video games as a way to connect with her teenaged kids, and then she learned to love video games for their own sake. At Pixelkin she wrangles the business & management side of things, writes posts as often as she can, reaches out on the social media, and does the occasional panel or talk. She lives in Seattle, where she writes, studies, plays video games, spends time with her family, consumes vast quantities of science fiction, and looks after her small cockapoo. She loves to hear from people out there. You can read more about her at her website, Linda Breneman.com or her family foundation's website, ludusproject.org.