It’s no secret that smartphone games with in-app purchases (IAPs) are a revenue generator for both the developer and app stores. A Google Play Points promotion today highlights mobile gaming whales just a bit too much.
When you opt-in to the rewards program, every purchase you make with Google Play Billing nets you Play Points that can be redeemed for in-app promos or Play credit. Google also recently introduced the ability to directly make purchases with Play Points. In most countries, there are four tiers — South Korea has a fifth “Diamond” level — that multiplies how many points you earn per dollar/local currency.
Platinum tier, which requires 3,000 points, users have a new offer available to them for the next month:
Make 2 purchases of $100 or more to earn 1000 points
The vast majority of people do not spend close to $100 on a single Play Store transaction, which can include app, game, book, or movie/TV purchases. The one exception we can think of is buying the highest edition of a game on Stadia, which earns you Play Points.
Of course, the other is IAPs, and comes as the promo explicitly notes how that “includes purchases in apps & games.” Whales, or high rollers, is a term derived from the (casino) gambling world, but that term has expanded as one mobile games marketing firm explains:
In the past few years, the term “whales” has been used to describe a tiny group of users (around 2%) that drives the most revenue for mobile apps and game publishers.
A mobile gaming whale is someone who spends a lot of microtransactions. So-called “whales” are the main target for microtransactions in free-to-play games, for example; they’re the ones who buy booster packs, cosmetics, etc.
That said, it’s still not a good deal. Let’s say you spend the minimum of $200 to get this offer. You get 280 Play Points alone from the 1.4x multiplier, and the grand total is 1,280. Converted into cash that’s $12.80 from, again, $200 in purchases. It’s slightly better if you take advantage of a 4x multiplayer that’s available this long weekend.
It’s unlikely that Google Play Points would add this promotion if there wouldn’t be any takers from the wild world of whales.
More on Play Points:
- Play Points pay off as Gold/Platinum tiers get free Chromecast, Pixel Buds discount, more [U]
- You can now use Google Play Points to pay for Apps – here’s how
- Google Play showing more app info without having to open listings
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