Microtransactions and Mobile Gaming: Understanding the Financial Benefits

Margie D. Moore
How To Properly Implement Microtransactions In Mobile Game Development | by  Daniel Doan | The Game Development Library by Black Shell Media

With more than 3 billion gamers around the world today, it’s easy to understand why mobile game development is now a highly lucrative business. Aside from the need to create new and interesting games, being in this business also requires you to find ways to maximize gaming purchases, so you get the most profit from them.

A microtransaction is essentially a type of in-game purchase that allows a gamer to buy a character, unlock a specific feature, or take advantage of a special ability that will help them win a game. All micro-transactions are done virtually and usually cost between $0.99 and $99. Some of these features are even more expensive depending on their exclusivity.

But more than benefiting gamers, microtransactions are actually bringing in a lot of revenue for mobile game developers. If you’re in the game developing business, it’s important to find the right high-risk merchant account provider to make sure that all these in-game purchases will go smoothly even as the demand increases. It will ensure that you take advantage of every transaction and continue to entice gamers to make more in-game purchases in the long run.

How Microtransaction Increase Revenue

People won’t necessarily spend on games, but they will on in-game purchases.

According to research data from mobile marketing firm Swrve, 48% of all spending on mobile games comes from only 0.19% of gamers (Mobile Games, 2016). What’s worse is that those gamers who do spend on mobile games only purchase very rarely. 

In fact, only hardcore and addicted gamers will spend their money on games while most would settle for free downloads. This makes selling games a lot harder for gaming developers. 

But it’s a different story with microtransactions because most of these players would be so hooked on a game that they would want to get that new character, achieve that new goal, or unlock a new feature that they wouldn’t mind paying the price for it. 

Die-hard gamers will not think twice about spending on microtransactions.

According to Forbes, EA sold 15.5 million units of the FIFA 2016 edition at just $30 instead of the usual $60. Although it was sold at half the price, this edition alone raked in over $450 million in revenue for EA. 

But what’s more interesting is that EA generated over $650 million in profits just through the Ultimate Team feature in the game. Many gamers didn’t think twice about investing in this feature because it completes their gaming experience. Talk about smart strategies, right?

Microtransactions are very diverse and flexible.

Aside from making mobile games more lucrative, developers also have the goal of encouraging purchases within these games. Microtransactions come in different types including skill games, discounts, loot boxes, in-game currency, and reward removal. 

As a developer, these methods are extremely beneficial in not only enticing gamers to enhance their experience with in-game purchases but also making sure that they get the most out of every purchase; that way they keep coming back for more.

Citation

Mobile Games Still Dominated By VIPs. (2016, March 23). Swrve. https://www.swrve.com/company/press/mobile-games-still-dominated-by-vips 

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