Microtransactions on the decline, claims report

Microtransactions on the decline, claims report

18th November 2019 0 By Jordan Heal

Microtransactions – possibly the most divisive topic in all of video gaming – seem to be on a decline as players are spending less money overall on in-game content.

SuperData Research has compiled a report analysing players’ spending habits within the gaming industry on popular titles.

It revealed that, in 2018, microtransactions accounted for 85% of PC revenue and 48% for consoles.

Mobile is the only platform within the last two years to have witnessed an increase in spending while computer gaming has remained static and console has, surprisingly, decreased.

The results have been chalked down to a number of factors with one being that players have developed a habit of spending less overall but are proportionally spending more on one or two games.

The report – released early November – found that across the previous month only 8% of people spent money in Fortnite compared to 2% on sports titles such as Madden NFL 20 and FIFA 20.

This is an interesting figure when considering the Ultimate Team modes in both sports games – published by EA – generate the most revenue for the company, possibly indicating ‘whales’ are alive and well within the virtual economies.

For instance, streamers such as Bateson87 and Castro_1021 spend hundreds, if not thousands on FIFA packs to curate content for their viewers.

SuperData Research note that Fortnite microtransactions spending has been on the decline since the beginning of 2019 with console, mobile and PC combined revenue failing to break the $100 million mark in September, 2019.

Interestingly, PC revenue has been at $6.5 billion and console at $1.4 billion in Q3, 2019 and yet 51% of gamers did not spend money on additional content, suggesting publishers are failing to provide enticing in-game purchases.

People are more wary of monetisation tactics

The report also reveals the people have become increasingly aware of publishers’ endeavours to get them to part with their money.

More than half (54%) are influenced by friends and family when it comes to deciding to spend in a game. Social media affects 40% of people’s decisions with one-in-three basing their decision on gaming and technology websites.

This is indicative that if plenty of people are accusing publishers of being ‘predatory’ with loot boxes and so forth, more and more gamers are likely to be detracted from spending money on a given title released under that company’s name.

“In-game spending as we know it has reached a saturation point,” explained SuperData Research.

“Between loot boxes, battle passes, one-time booster packs and individual cosmetic purchases, there is no shortage of in-game monetisation tactics. These strategies, however, are not enticing everyone to purchase additional content.”

Interested in reading more microtransactions-related stories? Discover more about UK MPs appealing for a ban on loot boxes when it comes to children.