New research highlights the rapid uptake for tablets as a gaming platform.
A new study by Juniper into the mobile and tablet games market has found that the increasing uptake for tablet devices, along with the growing acceptance of IAPs (in-app purchases) could see tablet gamers spend over $3 billion on IAPs and virtual currencies by 2016.
Looking at the impact of mobile games on the video games industry at large, the reports identifies a clear migration of those using dedicated portable gaming devices across to tablets and, to a lesser extent, smartphones. One of the key reasons for this appears to be the freemium model, which is far more difficult to implement on dedicated gaming devices on account of the games having to be purchased upfront, as well as the devices often not allowing 3G or 4G connections.
Meanwhile, developers are increasingly monetising their handset or tablet games using virtual currencies. This has been proved to increase users’ engagement with the game, as it can only be spent within that particular game.
Report author Siân Rowlands noted: “when we consider that only a small amount of gamers actually make in-game purchases, and those that do typically only spend a few dollars, it becomes apparent that there are a small proportion of consumers spending thousands annually on these virtual currencies, who subsidise the game for everyone else.”
The report also showed how free-to-play casino style games were beginning to yield increased profits from IAPs, even though users are not playing for real money stakes. Such games as Slotomania, Poker by Zynga and Texas Poker have seen a sharp increase in the number of users purchasing chips and other in-game items. In some cases spending up to $100 in one transaction.
Juniper’s findings also show that the majority of in-game purchase revenue on tablets will be made in the Far East and China and North America, which will account for over 86 per cent of users’ spend in 2016.
Elsewhere, smartphones will remain the primary device from which users make in-app purchases, with more than $6 billion predicted to spent on them in 2016 - over double the amount spent on tablets.