Microtransmissions are the theme of the moment. Everyone hates them, but obviously someone uses them. In fact, more than anyone: in 2017, free-to-play micro-transactions generated $ 22 billions of dollars, twice the turnover of 2012. Undoubtedly there is a difference between a free to play game with microtransfers, and a high-priced game that, by the way, blocks content behind grind walls or payments, and in any case not all microtransmissions are based on loot boxes.
In fact, the enthusiasm for microtransformation is far more comprehensible by many developers, if we consider the most interesting thing: Throughout 2017, video game sales on PCs and consoles generated $ 8 billion in revenue. Only just over a third compared to the gains achieved with microtransformations.
The data comes from a market survey conducted by SuperData, which deals with market data in the gaming industry. According to SuperData, players are quick to complain of micro-transactions, but then in all respects support and reward the service-based gaming system with their portfolios. Numbers do not lie: they are "just" eight billions earned by selling complete titles. This is a growing figure, which rises to thirteen if DLCs and expansions of various entities are included as well. But yet, and free to play they bill twenty-two, through microtransformations. In the light of these facts, it is not so surprising that the microtransformation business model is so widespread. According to SuperData, this step, microtransfers in free to play will reach twenty-five billion billions of sales by 2022.
SuperData said microtransmissions are running a subtle line between increasing content bidding and participation (and hence revenue), and the risk of alienating gamers. The microtransfection experiment has been up and down, successes and failures, but ultimately players continue to reward the model, especially in terms of content well-made; otherwise, it is likely to be a significant relapse, as EA discovered on its skin.
The SuperData study is available here.