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[Study] Paying User and Rolling Retention Rate Benchmarks Across Game Genres

App marketing results and performance can be difficult to assess on their own, but it’s also difficult to know exactly where your app stands compared to the competition.

For example, while some churn is natural, knowing if your churn rates are particularly high compared to standard user behavior can help you determine if there are changes that need to be made in order to avoid losing out on interested users and revenue.

Knowing benchmarks for your specific game genre is a good start to make sure that your app is living up to its full potential, and we want to help with that.

Here at MyTracker, we’re all about being able to make informed decisions, so we pulled data to look at paying users and rolling retention rates for different niches across the games industry.

Where Our Data Comes From

MyTracker is an app data analytics tool, and for this study, we’ve compiled information from more than 120 million app installs worldwide, on both iOS and Android.

All of this data was pulled from our tool, and it is recent, as it was sourced from 1st June 2021 to 31st December 2021. This was post-iOS 14.5 changes, when the effects on metrics and tracking had been well established.

We sourced the app genres from AppAnnie.

What Our Study Examined

  1. We wanted to assess the leading gaming app genres in terms of both rolling retention and paying user rates in the time immediately after installs, and to assess standard benchmarks for each.
  2. We also wanted to see to what extent, in the week following installation, paying usage and rolling retention increased or decreased in the apps for each genre.

These metrics are important because they help developers get a good idea of how many users are sticking around post-install, and how many convert (and when).

The paying user (PU) rate is calculated by dividing the number of unique paid users on day N by the total number of users who installed the app N days ago multiplied by 100.

The rolling retention (RR) rate is calculated by dividing the number of users who engaged with the app on day N (or later) by the number of users who installed the app N days ago multiplied by 100.

The highest and lowest PU rate

The lowest paying user rate on Day 1 is among Word games, with a Day 1 PU of 0.08%

The highest PU rates on Day 1 were for the following categories:

The Day 7 PU data showed that the highest- and lowest-performing genres were consistent, with two exceptions: Strategy games (1.83%) outperformed Casual games (1.64%) and Role-Playing games (1.95%) outperformed Books (1.91%).

The Words category had the highest increase in Day 7 PU compared to Day 1 (reaching 173%).

The highest and lowest RR rates

Card games had the highest Day 7 RR rate at 50%, and Social Networking games had the lowest (6.51%).

Arcades showed the most drastic drop of all in RR, amounting to 43% (Day 7 vs Day 1).

Average PU and RR rates across all niches

The average Day 1 PU rate across all niches was 0.67%.

The average Day 7 PU rate across all niches was 1.10%.

The average Day 1 RR across all niches was 36.67%.

The average Day 7 RR across all niches was 22.55%.

Why We Believe Performance Varies

As you can see above, there are some significant variations in both the rolling retention rate and the rate of paying users across gaming categories. Let’s take a look at why we believe this is the case.

Social Networking Games

Data at a Glance: Has the lowest rolling retention rate on Day 1 among all categories at 11%, which dropped by half on Day 7. Day 1 PU is 0.6% and has barely shifted on Day 7.

Social networking games are typically going to be “party”-styled games. Because there’s a social element, payments typically happen on the first day when everyone downloads the app and pays for access.

Because these games often rely on continual group engagement, this explains the lower retention rates and lower payment rates after the first day. As you can see from our data above, PU has barely shifted on Day 7 compared to Day 1.

The good news: These games can have a viral effect, so you may be able to generate a lot of sales quickly.

Book Games (interactive stories)

Data at a Glance: One of the lowest retention rates across all genres after Social Networking games and the highest in terms of Day 1 PU.

Book game apps are most popular amongst female users, and retention may be low because they either suck you in right away or you leave. The game needs to connect with the right audience in order to see conversion to payment spiking.

Users who are engaged, however, can be more loyal as they become invested. This is why we see the PU rate increase on Day 7 by 49% despite retention rates falling by 40% by that point.

Interested in seeing the retention and conversion rates in other app categores? Download our study for free.

Tags: gaming product analytics industry benchmarks