About 91 percent of children ages 3 to 12 ask for parental permission before making purchases in mobile games, according to a report from analyst firm Interpret. And among the kids who ask for permission, 27 percent — the biggest category — want items to customize their characters. Just 13 percent are looking to protect a kingdom or a city — the smallest category.
“Our just-released GameByte report shows that almost all children ask their parents’ permission before making in-game mobile purchases,” said Jesse Divnich, the vice president of research and strategy at Interpret, in an email to GamesBeat. “That means publishers and advertisers need to be mindful that they’re essentially targeting a dual customer base. Parents are always going to look out for what’s best for their children, and convincing parents that your game aligns with parents’ expectations is an important step in the engagement process.”
He added, “Understanding the complexities of this dual customer base is difficult and sometimes expensive. However, the publishers and advertisers that do put in the effort are far more successful in the market.”
(Divnich will be a speaker at our upcoming GamesBeat Summit 2019 event on April 23 and April 24 in Los Angeles).
The report said that 78 percent of kids say being able to play with their parents is an important factor when deciding which games to play. Perhaps counter-intuitively, this appears to be true among both younger (81 percent — ages 3 to 9) and older (77 percent — ages 10 to 12) kids.
Allowances play an important role in kids’ spending. 33 percent of parents say they give their children some form of a regular allowance. 19 percent of parents give their children video game allowances specifically.
Just 26 percent of kids ages 3 to 5 get some form of an allowance, but that number grows to 39 percent among kids ages 10 to 12.
What consoles are kids asking their parents to buy them in 2019? Sixty percent are asking for a Switch, with 49 percent wanting the PS4 and 48 percent the Xbox One.
Kids spend a lot on entertainment. Parents estimate they spent $1,300 on entertainment products for their kids in 2018, up 25 percent from the previous year. One-third of that spending was on video games.
Across all entertainment categories, video games showed the most the growth (up 34 percent) over last year. It is interesting that the study found that kids ask for permission. Facebook recently disclosed information in a court case that showed how, early on, the company acknowledged that it tried to defraud children and parents by getting kids to spend money in free-to-play games.