Analytics website SuperData has released a new report on the status of videogame microtransactions, and the prognosis is looking grim for publishers and developers.
Namely, revenue for such in-game purchases has been on a steady decline throughout 2019, with players spending less on microtransactions overall in the past few months. SuperData observed a few reasons for this decline, but chief among them were that players narrowed their in-game spending on a few games only – while many more have become wary of predatory microtransactions (understandably so).
Even Fortnite wasn’t safe from this decline. In particular, the game failed to break $100 million in revenue across all its platforms (including Switch) during September 2019. In contrast, the game was once able to rake in more than $300 million back in May 2018, according to Statista. In a similar vein, many games with microtransactions (e.g. FIFA 20) only saw about 2% of their players purchasing microtransactions recently.
SuperData added that in-game spending has hit a “saturation point” – with many cosmetics, one-time boosters, and other items vying for players’ wallets and patience. In short, developers will need to innovate new methods to attract players back into spending on digital goods. Otherwise, the market for microtransactions will likely stagnate further.
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