Deep dive into donations

Motivated by the red numbers last month, I was really interested in how exactly the donation numbers are currently. Especially in regards to how many of players actually donate and how much they donate. My gut feelings tells me, that a very few people carry a huge chunk of the total financial burden, basically paying for all the people who can’t or don’t want to support the game.

Also, it would be really interesting to know, how many players only play once and never come back. People who just drop by once will have no reason to support the game of course. If the daily number of those people rises, that can mean trouble.

Donations in total

But, first things first. Let’s check out, the donations themselves:

This graph shows the total amount of donations per user, sorted ascending, while 0,01 EUR being the smallest amounts 100 EUR being the largest.

The average donation amount per user is at around 7 EUR, while the median is at 5 EUR.

As expected, about 20% of all donating users carry 50% of the total donations. I’m not experienced with voluntary donation statistics, but I guess that most of those graphs will probably look like this, one way or another.

Contributors vs Non-Contributors

Let’s put things into perspective a bit:

Pie diagram putting normal users against donating users

This pie chart is even worse than I thought, actually. I would’ve thought that a couple more of my player base would’ve supported the game. Currently, it’s just 2.1% of the whole bunch. It’s actually pretty impressive that this small fraction of people can financially carry the whole project. This really highlights the generosity of people.

In total, I currently count 144,389 registered users. It would be awesome, if I could get the percentage of donating users up a bit. The numbers would’ve looked a lot better a month ago, due to the huge influx of new players the last few weeks, from which a major portion will not have donated anything.

Players and played games

The last numbers we can check are in regards to how many users play how many games. The numbers are a bit strange due to the way I log multiplayer matches. If you host a lobby, all games are logged onto your account to make it easier to track the costs of the hosted game itself. Since even guests without accounts can join, someones account has to accumulate those costs as well. That’s why I funneled all costs into the hosting player’s account.

So, what about this strange curve? It shows all logged played games for all players who have at least 1 logged game. The total number of users with logged games is 92,860. If your remember correctly, there’s over 140,000 registered users. So, there’s either a lot of dead registrations or a lot of registered players only played in other peoples online lobbies, which is actually not that uncommon. Please also mind that people, who use their own api key, will not appear in this statistic as well.

The average of logged played games per user is 22, while the median is a lot lower with only 6. As you can see, the graph really explodes with the last few users. Those are big streamers who play a LOT of games with a LOT of their viewers. Nr. 1 has over 4,000 logged games in his/her wallet, while Nr. 2 is at “only” 2,500. The numbers drop rapidly from there.

So, while 20% of users carry over 50% of the costs, a VERY small fraction of players are responsible for a good chunk of the costs. Especially bigger streamers can lead to a huge spikes in logged games (and therefore, increased costs) due to their reach and big audience.

What can I learn from those numbers?

  1. More people need to be aware that even small amounts can help out a lot if more people contribute financially! Only about 2% of players have donated yet and that numbers is really low. If I can increase the total number of contributors, this project will be financially covered for good real fast.
  2. I need to check for players, especially streamers, who have dozens of logged games without having at least covered their own costs. It’s really hard to counterbalance the quota usage of huge streamers with the generosity of the (yet) small community of contributors.

I really want to keep the game free for everyone, but that only works if the system is not strained too much by single individuals with their huge communities.

I love creating stuff, which includes art, software, games and music.