Free-to-play U.S. market revenue hits $1.5bn as developers face critical monetization decisions

New industry report, “Making the Switch”, reveals total spending on free-to-play MMOs has grown more than five times since 2009 leaving developers facing tough questions over monetization models.

According to Joost van Dreunen, CEO of SuperData, "The MMO market has changed dramatically in a very short amount of time. Monetization has become a key component of the new landscape, which today counts 46 million players in the U.S. alone. Deciding when and how to make the jump from subscription to free-to-play (F2P) monetization is critical for today’s games developers, and touches on the very foundations of this unique form of interactive entertainment. In our report with GlobalCollect, "Making the Switch," we take a close look at how both recently launched titles and incumbents are answering this question."

The report uniquely compares the adoption of Free-to-play, Pay-to-pay and hybrid monetization models by using case studies from World of Warcraft, Aion and other game titles as well analyzing the U.S. and European MMO markets.

Nathan Salisbury, GlobalCollect’s Global Market Director Video Gaming, said "With the games landscape shifting considerably over the last five years, MMO gaming companies are facing big decisions when it comes to their choice of monetization models. As payment thought leaders in the video gaming market we really understand the importance of analyzing the effects of monetization models on the MMO business. MMO gaming companies are a major contributor of transactions on the GlobalCollect payment platform, so we have the payments data and knowledge necessary to assist companies in their transition to free to play or hybrid models."

Key findings from the report include:

  • In the U.S. and Europe, F2P has increased continually over the past 6 years, with revenue and audience both surpassing those of P2P.
  • F2P games generate almost 70% of revenue in the U.S and 61% of revenue in Europe.
  • It is now proven to be more financially advantageous to monetize users via a F2P model than through subscriptions.
  • User-generated content is becoming a key trend in MMO monetization.
  • The total F2P MMO audience has shown consistent growth reaching 46 million monthly players in the US. 
  • In the U.S. there are now roughly six F2P gamers for every subscription-based gamer.
  • Lack of new P2P games is driving growth of F2P audiences.

To read the full report including case studies, detailed statistics and market analysis, visit http://info.globalcollect.com/Adopting-the-free-to-play-revenue-model

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About GlobalCollect

GlobalCollect is the most knowledgeable global Payment Service Provider in the world, processing more than US$14 billion in international e-commerce payments per year for more than 500 of the world’s most recognized e-commerce brands in the digital goods and services, travel, retail and video gaming industries, among many others. With nearly two decades of payments experience, we enable our clients to efficiently and securely accept payments from more than 170 countries in more than 170 currencies, using in excess of 150 local payment methods including all major credit and debit cards, direct debits, bank transfers, real-time bank transfers, eWallets, cash at outlets, prepaid methods, checks, and invoices. This gives our customers unparalleled coverage, especially in high-growth regions like Latin America, where GlobalCollect acquired regional PSP Sub1 in 2012. Our robust and redundant systems guarantee our customers high availability and reliability. GlobalCollect’s business intelligence tools and more than 400 payments experts help our clients elevate their payment strategies to become a strategic asset to their companies. Headquartered in Amsterdam, GlobalCollect has six locations around the world, and is a Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe company. For more information please visit: http://www.globalcollect.com and follow us on: http://www.linkedin.com/company/globalcollect, http://www.twitter.com/Global_Collect and http://www.facebook.com/globalcollect.

For further information please contact:

John Snoek
Global VP Marketing

Topics: Industry-gaming, Year: 2013

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