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How Long Kids Play Virtual Worlds

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A report by Dubit on the popularity of children's virtual worlds and the length of time children stay engaged with them.

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How Long Kids Play Virtual Worlds

  1. 1. Dubit - Games Children Play - Longevity Games Children Play
  2. 2. Games Children Play: The Study At Dubit we are constantly researching which games children are playing. We’ve been there from the beginning: we began with the rise of virtual worlds, witnessed the growth of iPads and Apps, and the gradual acceptance of paying for digital content. So, from all this time in the industry - what have we learnt? This particular study looks at longevity: how long can you expect a child to stay in your game or website as an active player? In this study of 500 children from the UK, aged between 6 and 12 years-of-age, we focus first on Virtual Worlds and Adventure Games. And we provide this data as a benchmark for any virtual world out there, or for those planning their digital strategy. Dubit - 2
  3. 3. Virtual Worlds: Past & Present This ranking demonstrates that, well, there are always industry leaders. In the UK, the homegrown ones tend to do well, with over half the country’s kids having played or playing Moshi Monsters. Dubit - 100% 75% 50% 25% 0% Moshi Monsters Bin Weevils Club Penguin Neopets Monkey Quest Stardoll Runescape Fight my Monster Wizard 101 Webkinz IMVU Poptropica 3
  4. 4. Virtual Worlds: Past & Present When we look closer at who is playing now, the gap between the top three widens, and Bin Weevils seems a little “last year”, slipping down in player terms to be around the same level as Monkey Quest, Wizard 101 (newish kids on the block) and Stardoll (the old dame). So - what is the normal attrition rate for these audiences? How quickly do kids leave? For this, we will focus on the three largest players. Dubit - 100% 75% 50% 25% 0% Moshi Monsters Bin Weevils Club Penguin Monkey Quest Stardoll Wizard 101 Neopets Runescape Fight my Monster Poptropica Webkinz IMVU Played Playing Now 4
  5. 5. Longevity: The lifetime of a typical user of a Virtual World Dubit - When we plot audience data from our survey of kids who have played the top three, we find that there is a consistent churn rate of users. Normalising the attrition rate, we have a curve and formula (do ask!) to predict performance across virtual worlds: after 4 months, the best sites still retain 40-45% of their users. 5 100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 Moshi Bin Weevils Club Penguin 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 Months Playing %age Users
  6. 6. Longevity: The lifetime of a typical user of a Virtual World Dubit - Although you would expect to lose a significant number of users in the first 3-4 months, the number you hang onto up until THIS point determines the long term success of the game. After four months, the pitch of the curve levels off, for all games, with little differential churn. 6 100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 Moshi Bin Weevils Club Penguin 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 Months Playing %age Users
  7. 7. Longevity: The lifetime of a typical user of a Virtual World Dubit - As an example, hanging on to a extra 7% or 8% at four months raises the Club Penguin userbase and keeps it higher for longer: many of these are likely to be paying, “committed” members. 7 100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 Moshi Bin Weevils Club Penguin 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 Months Playing %age Users
  8. 8. Longevity: Bin Weevils and the impact of poor initial retention Dubit - In contrast, Bin Weevils has the highest churn rate in the first three months, and its downward momentum continues - potentially reflecting that users in the first few months are not as engaged with their character, the game mechanic and the return loop as much as in other games. Adding more marketing will not affect this. 8 100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 Bin Weevils 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 Months Playing %age Users
  9. 9. Longevity: Why kids move on Dubit - So the first four months requires a strategy to connect and immerse the kids in the game. Unsurprisingly, boredom is the key factor that kids cite when asked about why they left a particular game. Ongoing rewards for participation, and updating content, would mitigate against the primary causes. But also, note how important “social” is to their ongoing play: multiplayer activities are also a key contributor to a game’s success. 100% 75% 50% 25% 0% Got bored My friends stopped Cost Club Penguin Moshi Monsters Bin Weevils Found a better game Finished it My parents asked me to Other 9
  10. 10. Longevity: The importance of “social” So, one of the advantages of Virtual Worlds is this “immersion” factor: upgrading your character, playing with friends, and accessing new content. Social elements on Moshi are less than in the other two games: whereas 14% of players play Club Penguin on a daily basis, only 5% of Moshi Monsters players do likewise. 100% Dubit - 75% 50% 25% 0% Club Penguin More than once a day Once a day Nearly every day Couple of times a week Once a week Every few weeks Less than once a month Moshi Monsters Bin Weevils 10
  11. 11. Games Children Play Dubit - Features • Longevity • Frequency • Virality • Discoverability • Conversion • Play styles 11
  12. 12. Dubit: Research, Build & Launch digital experiences for kids brands Dubit - Kids Research • Market analysis • Prototype and concept testing • Competitor analysis and market scoping • IP / trend spotting • Design & ideation • Monetization strategies • Ethical marketing • Transmedia modeling 12 Kids Game Development • Game design and ideation • Character and brand design • Game development • Virtual Worlds and Casual MMOs Kids Apps • iOS and Android games • Interactive storybooks Launch • Game promotion and player acquisition
  13. 13. Dubit: Just a few of our customers Dubit -13
  14. 14. Dubit: Get in touch! Dubit - If you’d like to know more about what we do checkout our website dubitlimited.com or send Matthew an email: matthew@dubitlimited.com. We love to talk! Address The Half Roundhouse Wellington Road Leeds West Yorkshire LS12 1DR Phone (+44) 113 3947 920 Email matthew@dubitlimited.com 14

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