Revenues in 2011 touched $2.1bn
A growing user acceptance of in-game purchases and surge in their increased adoption on smartphones will push sales of in-game items from $2.1bn in 2011 to $4.8bn in 2016, according to a forecast by Juniper Research.
The report finds that as users became accustomed to the freemium model, particularly purchasing in-game items, the proportion of gamers who purchase these items will increase, the research firm says.
This will be most conspicuous in the social and casual genre in which users are increasingly expecting entertaining and immersive gameplay from free or low cost games.
According to report author Charlotte Miller an increasing number of games developers are finding the in-game purchase model attractive simply because it provides easy answers.
"Their piracy rate will drop and the game will see more downloads. However, while some games may generate significant revenues from in-game items, the model doesn’t work with all games and developers have to tread a fine line between encouraging purchases and appearing to be exploitative," added Miller.