A recent survey conducted by app marketing firm Swrve found that 50 percent of all free-to-play mobile game revenue comes from only 0.15 percent of players.

The survey, reported by VentureBeat, finds that big-spending players, or "whales," often determine a free-to-play game's financial success. Swrve's survey additionally found that the vast majority of its 10 million tracked players never spent any money whatsoever on free-to-play mobile games.

Speaking to VentureBeat, Swrve CEO Hugh Reynolds broke down the survey's results, explaining that only 1.5 percent of surveyed players made a purchase within a free-to-play game in the month of January. Around 50 percent of recorded revenue came from the top ten percent of players who did make purchases, representing 0.15 percent of the survey's total headcount.

Reynolds also warns that traditional in-app purchase marketing methods are proving less effective in the current marketplace climate. "People are very mobile, and they have a lot of options," Reynolds told VentureBeat. "Trying to capture them is becoming more and more difficult."

[Image: Swrve]

This article was originally published on Joystiq.