Microtransactions on consoles accounted for approximately $352m in sales last year, research group Superdata has announced.
The firm notes the microtransactions model – typically associated with the mobile market – is rapidly becoming more popular among console gamers. That $352m is strictly tied to small purchases tied to in-game economy, like vanity items, extra music, weapons, vehicles, classes, currency and unlocks. It does not include full game downloads, expansion packs, maps and other DLC add-ons
23m consumers accounted for the aforementioned 2013 sales figure, with “almost half” buying microtransaction content for shooters or action adventure games. Superdata further revealed the number of console gamers making multiple microtransaction purchases is growing as well, with 1.9m monthly active users in the console space last year – compared to 1.6m in 2012.
"As microtransactions become a standard feature to many game genres, so, too, will console games start to incorporate them,” Superdata said in a statement.
"Hardware manufacturers will be receptive to developers and publishers with a focus on microtransactions and, in return, offer better visibility among console gamers. As we already know from mobile gaming, it is difficult to overstate the importance of a solid relationship with a platform holder."
Superdata points to experimentation as part of the reason for the increasing success of the microtransaction model, specifically mentioning the performances of Grand Theft Auto V and Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag in the space. The organization also predicts that how the Xbox 360 release of World of Tanks goes will be an important factor on whether the growth of free-to-play games with microtransaction will accelerate even faster than it already has.