How often do you make in-game purchases for weapons, skins, maps, or tactical tips? It could be several times in each game if you are an avid gamer. These microtransactions have raised heated debates among gamers. Yet they have given new avenues of resources for game developers.
Some of the most popular game titles today like Fortnite could not have the longevity they have if it were not for microtransactions. A recent study of the gaming industry showed that the industry has grown 30% due to microtransactions. In a competitive environment, microtransactions have become a vital part of marketing strategy and gaming brand survival.
What are Microtransactions?
In the simplest terms, a microtransaction is a purchase of a virtual item in a game. Virtual items include vehicle and player skins, weapons, first-aid boxes, or casino chips. Microtransactions are to be found in almost all popular free-to-play titles today. But purchased games also use microtransactions to generate added revenue and get as much as they can from popular titles.
Microtransactions have become very useful for mobile game developers because they offer a viable revenue source. According to the gaming analytics firm Newzoo, only 38% of mobile gamers are willing to pay for gaming apps. Faced with this reluctance, have little leeway in making money off their apps. Microtransactions have become an important strategy in generating app revenues. Almost all free mobile gaming apps have microtransactions as a monetization strategy.
Microtransactions can be used in different gaming genres. For example, in casino games, they enable bettors to enjoy new experiences. No-wager casino apps are using microtransactions very effectively. A good example is PlayOJO Casino, which allows play without wagers. Here is one of the best PlayOJO reviews, which shows how players can play using bonuses without playthrough requirements.
Microtransactions have raised a lot of debate among the gaming community. Gamers say that they enable players to win games depending on their financial muscle instead of pure gaming tactics and strategy. A poor player can buy more powerful weapons and equipment than good players, and achieve an unfair advantage over the better players. This pay-to-win gaming strategy has been criticized by many as taking the fun out of a game.
Sometimes game developers do not place microtransactions correctly. These oversights can affect the gaming experience drastically with crashes, freezes, and gaps in logic. A good example of this mishap was in Fallout 76, which received a lot of complaints about its implementation of microtransactions.
Big Money for Gaming Development
There are thousands of game title releases each year. The ease of mobile game apps development has raised competition in the gaming industry significantly. Game developers cannot charge for their apps, yet they need them to gain traction in app stores. There is little option but to offer the apps for free. How does a developer get paid? They sell virtual items on the app.
A good microtransactions strategy can generate big money for developers of free games. The popular game, Fortnite generated an estimated $1.2 billion within the first 10 months of its release. It made another $1.8 billion in 2019. Gaming giant Activision generated a massive $3.366 billion in 2019 from microtransactions, while EA Games made $2.835 billion.
Microtransactions enable popular game titles to stay longer in the market. Titles from popular games such as Grand Theft Auto and Call of Duty have staying power courtesy of downloadable content. This downloadable content contains new play arenas, weapons, missions, and other game elements. Fans can access this downloadable content for a small fee. It is a win-win arrangement since game developers save on the costs of developing an entirely new game.
Microtransactions will continue to be a vital revenue source for game developers. While fans have mixed feelings about microtransactions, it is unlikely that they will go away. What gamers can expect is a more intuitive use of microtransactions that balances the interests of both gamers and developers. They will not affect the gaming experience while keeping developers afloat and thriving.