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Sales of ‘in-game’ items to reach $4.8b by 2016: report

Sales of ‘in-game’ items will increase from $2.1 billion in 2011 to $4.8 billion in 2016, a report by Jupiter Research anticipates.

Jupiter Research discovered a growing user acceptance of games that are purchased once the user is ‘in’ the game, as opposed to the traditional pay-per-download model.

They attribute this to the rise of the smartphone as users have become more accustomed to the ‘freemium’ model of purchasing in-game apps, particularly in the social and casual genre.

Developers have observed the growth of free games being downloaded and seen the freemium model as a more enticing option to customers for paid games too, the report states.

“An increasing number of games’ developers are finding the in-game purchase model attractive, simply because it provides easy answers,” said author of the report, Charlotte Miller.

“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,” she added.The report also anticipated mobile games’ downloads on tablets to increase dramatically and mobile games’ revenues on feature phones to halve over the next five years.

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