Blog Post

Online Game Marketers Hope For Micropayments Growth

The market for virtual add-ons to online video games is slated for substantial growth, according to a study of console and handheld online gaming by ABI Research. The study predicts that a growing percentage of gamers’ budgets will go towards the purchase of in-game virtual assets such as “maps, game related add-ons, casual game titles, and, eventually, full core console titles.” Micropayments for consoles alone will account for over $833 million by 2011, as console vendors and their publisher partners look to monetize both in-game and game-related assets beyond initial game purchases.
The research points to Microsoft’s Xbox Live service as fueling the growth of such add-ons. Right now, 90 percent of the software purchases associated with online games occur through traditional retail channels. But the console vendors are pushing for all parts to be sold through a digital distribution, which they feel will allow them to increase their revenue by establishing a direct line between the game console and marketers of add-on products. As vendors like Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo continue on this path, they will be able to move beyond gaming content to sell digital entertainment such as movies and music. Ultimately, ABI’s study forecasts that video and music downloads to game consoles will reach $1.1 billion annually by 2011. Release