PC microtransaction revenue has doubled since 2012

SuperData report: Battlefront II is the poster child of a new and uncomfortable growing pain for the games industry

Revenue generated from free-to-play PC gaming has doubled since 2012, according to a recent SuperData report.

The report, which posits that EA still "has a ways to go in fully understanding gamers' appetites for microtransactions", shows that consumers are spending more than ever on additional content.

"Although gamers are quick to complain that publishers are excessively monetising additional content for games, players continue to support service-based monetisation with their wallets," the report noted.

In 2012, PC free-to-play generated $11 billion in revenue and doubled to $22 billion in 2017. It is expected to grow a further $3 billion by 2022.

Meanwhile, revenue generated from full-game purchases has grown from $5 billion to $8 billion, and is estimated to reach $11 billion over the same time period.

According to the report, while "Battlefront II is the poster child of a new and uncomfortable growing pain for the games industry", additional content sales are "increasingly out-earning the traditional one-time purchase model, and the trend shows no signs of slowing."

However, the report also warned against "what appears to consumers as money-grubbing techniques", as demonstrated when players pushed back against Ubisoft for including expensive microtransaction shortcuts in Assassin's Creed Unity.

"It remains to be seen what effect EA's course correction on microtransactions will have on Battlefront II, but it's fair to say the vocal fan community isn't enthused," the report concluded. "Despite this, it's clear that gamers are continuing to spend on well-executed additional content, and the market presents a massive opportunity for publishers."

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