Gaming monetization - Statistics & Facts

In 2015, the global video games market was worth approximately 71 billion U.S. dollars. By the end of 2020 its value is expected to exceed 90 billion U.S. dollars. The gaming software industry depends on three monetization models to make such profits: consumers may simply buy games; revenues can be generated via in-game advertising; or gamers spend money on micro-transactions. Each of these models can be exploited individually; however, in many cases gaming companies choose to combine at least two of the three models to boost income prospects. The combined models function mostly in free-to-play (F2P) games, where gamers are encouraged to pay for enhancements, such as additional lives, currency, personalized avatars, an ad-free experience, or unrestricted playing time. Those playing for free may face in-game advertisements, timers, a lack of customization options, or other annoyances.

In the United States the average annual expenditure on gaming software in 2015 amounted to approximately 12 U.S. dollars per consumer. It is estimated that roughly 60 percent of gamers in the country own between one and ten paid PC games, paid console games, or paid mobile games. On the other side, recent calculations indicate that consumer spending on in-game purchases will grow from 22 billion U.S. dollars in 2015 to 32 billion in 2020. In 2016, more than a quarter of gamers in the United States admitted to purchasing such additional video game content. The majority of those transactions were worth between one and 20 U.S. dollars, while 11 percent of U.S. gamers claimed to have spent more than 250 U.S. dollars on in-game purchases.

From the point of view of gaming companies, the pay-up-front method of monetization is the preferred way to earn money. However, only 18 percent of mobile gamers said this was how they would choose to pay for games. A staggering majority said they would much rather watch rewarded video ads in exchange for free gaming content. In line with these findings, 67 percent of games in Google Play Store were utilizing the ad-supported model. Also, nearly 60 percent of iOS games contained advertising, as opposed to 40 percent that did not rely on in-game advertising at all.

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