Ask the Experts #1- What is the Spending Depth of a Game?

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YOU ASKED

Hi, I have seen your employees use the phrase “spending depth”. Please, can you explain the concept? Thank you very much.

Answer from our Expert:

We define spending depth as the lowest amount of money effectively spent in-game to progress to the endgame. Successful free-to-play games are expected to be played for years and need to withstand many payments (usually from highly engaged players) throughout the progression.

To calculate spending depth you need to:

  1. Identify the most effective way to progress through the game
  2. Define what items and currencies the player needs to obtain
  3. Calculate the total value of these items and currencies
  4. Find the most effective way to purchase them

Spending depth tends to only cover part of the in-game content. Skins are a good example of this as they are not usually needed for in-game progression.

Spending depth also needs to cover discounts and special offers. If you design the spending depth to be X and then offer a 75% discount, the actual spending depth will be only ¼ of X.

Example spending depth of top-grossing games:

  • Empires & Puzzles more than $400 000
  • Clash Royale above $15 000

Michal Minarik, Head of Game Design & Monetization

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