Yes, that Game of War. It's the mobile game you see everywhere, though no one you know seems to actually play it. Well, people do and they're willing to part with insane amounts of dollars for the privilege. $US549.69 per player, to be precise.
According to Slice Technology, a market research firm that specialises in online purchases, Game of War's $US550 average spend is far and away ahead of its nearest competitor, Summoners War, which brings in $272.41 per player.
As you've already guessed, the average is inflated somewhat by "whales" -- the small percentage of players who spend loads more than the typical. Slice's research suggests that for most mobile games, a mere 10 per cent of players represent 90 per cent of IAP revenue and within the 10 per cent lies an even chunkier money-disgorging beast:
Further listening to the statical sonar reveals that the top one percent, the "white whales", of mobile gamers account for an astonishing 58 percent of the mobile gaming revenue from in-app purchases. This trend doesn't occur among traditional games, where roughly 28 percent of the audience accounts for 90 percent of game sales.
The graph of this shows a very good approximation of an inverse exponential curve; it's enough to blow the pants of even the most stoic of statisticians.
Credit: Slice Technologies
I know we joke about the ridiculous ads that completely misrepresent games like Game of War, but the sad fact is the developers are doing something very right, at least from a financial point of view.