Gamers shelling out more for add-ons and virtual goods
An increase in players opting for free games is proving lucrative for the gaming industry, according to a survey by German technology industry association Bitkom.
Free game, was considered the game industry ‘cancer’, but now has become a game developer’s revenue source, because they attract gamers to purchase virtual goods or game props.
The survey revealed that 45% of the German game players opt for only free games, and now gamers intend to shell out for tools or other features to boost their gaming experience.
German game developer Exozet head of mobile development Matthias Hellmund said people going for $70 video games is gradually declining as they are switching to games on Apple’s iPad, which are usually free or come for only 99 cents.
The survey reports that 43% of German gamers spend an average of €15 per month to play a game, though some gamers who use free games spend much more on another element within the game, such as €1,500 ($2,113) for a sword or special armor.
Ebay one of the largest sales channels for virtual goods, in June, sold more than 3,641 virtual items for use in Activision Blizzard’s "World of Warcraft" game were sold at an average price of €132 ($186.4) for a 14-day period.
According to the survey, this means gamers invest around €11.5m annually on virtual goods for that one game.