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Console microtransactions: $352 million annually and growing

Superdata report finds business model gaining traction in living room, monthly users and conversion on the rise

While the mobile market is practically built on microtransactions these days, the practice of selling in-game items and unlockables for small sums is still relatively uncommon on consoles. That's unlikely to be the case for very long, as research firm Superdata reports that the console microtransaction market is growing, reaching approximately 23 million consumers and accounting for about $352 million in sales in 2013.

The number of console gamers making regular microtransactions is also on the rise, with Superdata reporting 1.9 million monthly active users in the console space last year, up from 1.6 million in 2012. Conversions rates also took a jump last year, with 5.1 percent of players paying for microtransactions in supported games, versus just 4 percent in 2012. The firm said some genres monetize better than others, with nearly half of the paying players citing first-person shooters (24 percent) or action-adventure games (21 percent) as their favorite genres.

"As microtransactions become a standard feature to many game genres, so, too, will console games start to incorporate them, the group said. "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."

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Brendan Sinclair avatar
Brendan Sinclair: Brendan joined in 2012. Based in Toronto, Ontario, he was previously senior news editor at GameSpot.
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