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Mobile Transforms the Way Gamers Play and Pay, with 73 Percent of Players Shifting Between All Gaming Platforms

Mobile Transforms the Way Gamers Play and Pay, with 73 Percent of Players Shifting Between All Gaming Platforms
  • Global games market is booming, with 77 percent of UK players regularly spending money on online games
  • Payment fraud is a top concern for players, with one in five having experienced fraud while paying for or in games online
  • Grand Theft Auto most popular franchise in UK, while Mario is preferred franchise in the US and Germany

London, UK –  Modern gamers are not loyal to one gaming platform, with 73 percent of gamers regularly switching between mobile, console and PC, according to a new report, How To Turn Players Into Payers: Understanding the Gaming Payments Experience, published by ACI Worldwide (NASDAQ: ACIW) and Newzoo. The study surveyed more than 2,000 gamers in the UK, US and Germany.

While mobile remains the most popular platform with 95 percent of respondents playing mobile titles regularly, and with over a third (33 percent) playing on their mobile phones for more than 6 hours a week, many publishers are catering to the new trend of ‘cross-platform gameplay’ by releasing and optimizing titles for each platform.

When it comes to the most popular franchises, Grand Theft Auto comes out top in the UK (36 percent), while Mario is the preferred game in the US (38 percent) and Germany (26 percent). Newcomer Fortnite is increasingly popular in the US (26 percent), demonstrating the growing appeal of cross-platform gameplay and fueling an already booming market.

“The global gaming market is expected to reach USD $137.9 billion in 2018; however, it remains a challenging environment in which to engage and convert players. 40 percent of non-paying gamers do not spend on games because the free gaming experience is satisfactory, showing there is further scope to monetize gameplay and generate revenues,” commented Andy McDonald, vice president, merchant payments, ACI Worldwide. “The research also reveals that fraud is a top concern for online players, an issue developers and businesses urgently need to address.”

Why and how gamers spend money:

  • 77 percent of gamers in the UK spend money on games (78 in the US, 70 in Germany)
  • 39 percent of respondents said that their main motivation to spend money in or on a game is enjoyment
  • 68 percent of paying gamers say they are likely to spend more money if there is a loyalty or a rewards programme

Fraud is a major concern

  • 19 percent have experienced fraud when paying for games online, while one-third of gamers are less likely to spend within a game due to fraud concerns
  • Despite fraud concerns, 44 percent of paying gamers in the US believe additional security measures for in-game purchases negatively impact the gaming experience (36%in the UK and 19 percent in Germany)
  • 44 percent of paying gamers believe the in-game payment experience can be improved, with one-third of gamers frustrated by slow payment processes, and more than one-quarter encountering confusing payment processes

Platform is a key consideration for payments

  • 62 percent of PC/Console players spend their money on digital downloads; 46 percent on boxed or disc games
  • US gamers are far more likely to pay on mobile (60%) compared to gamers in other countries surveyed (49 and 43% in UK and Germany, respectively
  • 78 percent of US gamers who have spent money on mobile have done so for in-game purchases, compared to only 65 percent in the UK and Germany

Alternative payments becoming more prevalent

  • PayPal is the preferred and most used payment method across all markets surveyed, on every platform
  • Over 40 percent said they view new payment methods ApplePay and GooglePay positively; 23 percent expressed a positive attitude towards cryptocurrency, indicating potential growth as mainstream acceptance and accessibility increases
  • 38 percent of respondents said trust is the biggest reason they use their particular online payment methods

Gender, geography and age impact spending and gaming choices

  • In the US, men are more likely spend money on games than women; 76 percent vs 60 percent on console games, 70 percent vs 54 percent on desktop
  • Gamers aged 30-40 are most likely to spend on power-ups, while the younger demographic (18-30) favors DLC/expansion packs as paid add-ons

“Gaming is one of the fastest growing segments within the broader entertainment industry, which continues to undergo rapid change as many forms of entertainment go fully digital,” McDonald continued. “Mobile and console gaming is driving changes in payments, especially with smaller value – and more frequent – in-app purchases on the rise. Gaining insight into the payment habits of gamers – especially as the cross-platform success of franchises such as Fortnite increases – is critical, as businesses strive to deliver next-generation, seamless payments experiences.”

“Understanding nuances in gamers’ paying habits and preferences can help publishers and developers craft top-quality, custom experiences for gamers,” said Sander Bosman, vice president – research, Newzoo. “But with variations across geographies, age and gender – not to mention differences between mobile, desktop and console gaming – there are multiple factors to be considered. This report provides much needed insights that help understand the paying gamer; what motivates them to pay and what is needed to deliver a superior gaming experience as the boundaries between platforms continue to blur.”

To read the full report visit:


This research project was conducted to explore paying behavior, payment preferences, and the payment experience among gamers to gather insights into the most effective ways to optimize payments conversions in games. 2,051 gamers (playing at least two hours per week on any platform) were surveyed, across the U.S., U.K. and Germany. Respondents were aged 18-40 and are nationally representative of the gamer group. Computer-assisted web-interviewing (CAWI) was utilized to “invitation only” respondents over a period of two weeks, including two weekends for a balanced sample (May 2-14, 2018). Average length per respondent: 15-17 minutes.

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