Most Mobile Gamers Willing to Pay $3 for Games

Once upon a time, early iOS game adopters could pretty much count on paying around 99 cents for simple and fun distractions like Doodle Jump. Today, iOS game prices are a point of hot debate: the stuff we play on our iPhones and iPads are nearing console-quality releases, and some developers are beginning to charge accordingly. Most of us feel $30 for an iOS game is still a bit much, but at the same time we’re becoming more comfortable with a higher standard price point.

According to the NPD Group’s latest report, ‘Mobile Gaming 2012,’ people who play games primarily on smartphones or tablets believe that a $3 is a good value on average. That said, the mobile platform is quickly becoming synonymous with ‘free games,’ so it can be difficult to compromise with a paid app’s price.

“Many mobile gaming consumers have grown accustomed to gaming for free, making it essential to find the sweet spot for pricing that encourages purchasing by as many consumers as possible,” says Liam Callahan, an analyst with NPD.

Doodle Jump: addictive, awesome, and 99 cents.

The NPD Group’s study also discovered that only 30% of free-to-play game adopters are willing to make in-app purchases, or pay for a premium upgrade of a free game.

Other points from the report worth noting: on average, ‘app gamers’ spend 59% of their total game time on tablets and mobile phones. Nearly a quarter of app gamers play exclusively on mobile devices. And people who prefer playing games on tablets versus mobile phones are more likely to purchase games or in-app items.

Do you stick to free games on your mobile devices? Do you abide by a strict buying code that won’t take you beyond a set price? Or do you manage your mobile game purchases on a case-by-case basis?

[NPD via Gamasutra]