Arkadium study shows ‘social butterflies’ and core gamers spend more on social games

Social and mobile developer Arkadium has released a new study focused on monetization in social games that sheds some light on which types of users are more likely to spend money on Facebook games.

According to Arkadium’s findings, the two groups most likely to pay are those who play with six or more friends, defined by the company as “social butterflies” and “core gamers,” players who play unspecified “core” strategy and role-playing games outside of Facebook.

Approximately 63 percent of the survey’s participants were identified as Social Butterflies. Although 30 percent of social butterflies reported only spending money only once per game, 33 percent indicated they had spent more than $20 on a single in-game purchase. About 26 percent said they spend between $11 and $20 per month on Facebook games. Among social butterflies, 70 percent said they played a game for more than a week before spending money on it.

Arkadium also found that core gamers — those who play “core” strategy and role-playing titles outside of Facebook — were also likely to spend money on Facebook games. We reached out to Arkadium for specific titles they considered for this demographic, but have yet to hear back. About 62 percent of strategy players said they were likely to spend money on Facebook games, as did 61 percent of RPG players. However, 39 percent of strategy fans and 32 percent of  RPG fans were only willing to spend $10 or less a month on Facebook games. The majority of these users spent their money to unlock story or narrative content in games, gain a competitive edge over other players or acquire in-game decoration and customization.

This information about core gamers is in keeping with what we’ve heard from studios like Kixeye, which actively pursue the demographic. An example of this price point in action is the developer’s newly-revealed Club D.A.V.E. subscription for Backyard Monsters, which is going for $9.99 a month. Kixeye’s VP of Marketing John Getze tells us the subscription is designed to reward loyal Backyard Monsters players, but also provide incentive for new players to start paying into the game by providing bonus in-game content for their money.

The study was conducted with 1,576 users, split between a confirmed 986 females and 584 males. Readers can view the entire slideshow here.