Despite how players tend to spit fire and brimstone on publishers for siding with microtransactions, the controversial business practice is here to stay for good.
According to research firm SuperData, the revenue collected from “service-based monetization” in free-to-play games on PC increased from $11 billion in 2012 to $22 billion this year. The figure is expected to hit $25 billion by 2022.
In comparison, direct games sales are heavily overshadowed and less than half of what publishers have raked in through microtransactions in this year alone.
The numbers, while unofficial, make it clear that publishers will never drop microtransactions because of how lucrative they prove to be. The same batch of players pointing fingers at companies for showing greed are usually the same that end up excessively funding the practice.
“Although gamers are quick to complain that publishers are excessively monetizing additional content for games, players continue to support service-based monetization with their wallets,” SuperData points out.
Consider this for a moment that a company, with the right offset, can generate a larger revenue stream through post-release purchases than from the sale of the product itself. In that light, there is the possibility that publishers might consider to drop the retail price of free-to-play games in the future.
Star Wars Battlefront II is currently the poster child for the movement against loot boxes and microtransactions in general. While various governmental entities and regulatory bodies have taken noticed, both the ESRB and ESA continue to fight in favor.