It is considered that in mobile games the session should be as short as possible. However, DeltaDNA analysts found a correlation between a long session and a high level of retention.


In his publication on company notes that most of the freeplay titles lose 20% of installations in the first two minutes after launch.

To rectify the situation, developers should pay great attention to planning how the first session should be played. This means not only setting a number of tasks necessary for the player to complete, but also creating the final stage, from where it will be convenient for the player to then start playing next time.

All this leads to the question of how long the first game session should last. One of the answers may sound “as long as possible”, and this approach may work for hardcore games, but most casual and midcore freeplay games should hardly expect the first session of an hour from the player. But this does not mean that after three minutes he has to leave.

The graph below shows the relationship between the length of the session and the retention of the first day in 275 games, data on which DeltaDNA tracked from October 2015 to February 2016.


The average length of the first session for all games is 9 minutes.

For games whose first session is longer than 9 minutes, the average retention of the first day is 31%. For those games in which the length of the first session is 9 minutes or less, the average retneshn of the first day is 20%.

The positive impact of a long session is also observed on other business indicators. It is logical to assume that for the success of the product it is necessary that its first gaming session is from 10 to 20 minutes.


However, DeltaDNA immediately notes that the interpretation of these results may be different. Games whose sessions were 9 minutes or less may not have been sharpened for short sessions, it’s just that players fell off faster than the first session ended. In turn, games that were played for more than nine minutes for the first time could simply captivate the gameplay. That is, the user could “run” in them not one game cycle, but several.

A source: deltaDNA