The gaming market is evolving and becoming more lucrative by the year. As developers continually aim to recreate new ways to monetize game content, mobile payment operators hold a unique position in this profitable market.
Mobile games are the fastest growing segment of the video game market today. By 2017, mobile gaming spend is expected to exceed the level of console spend – reaching an estimated $40.9 billion, says research firm, Newzoo.
At the same time, revenue from in-game purchases alone will increase from the 2011 global total of $2 billion to almost $5 billion by next year. Now add in social. With social gaming on the continual rise, think Farmville and Candy Crush Saga, players are able to connect in new ways – socially and digitally, without the boundaries of distance.
The use of the smartphone in our everyday lives has increased dramatically just in the last five years, transforming the way consumers engage in games. With our increased dependency, smartphones have become more than a means for communication – they are a source of entertainment. People no longer need a console at home or that extra handheld device to carry around.
According to the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), about 35% of all gamers play video games on their smartphones. The accessibility and convenience of mobile gaming allows for game time, any time – from traditional video gamers, fantasy sports drafts, and virtual world dwellers alike.
Gaming on-the-go is the new norm – when waiting in line at the grocery store or on the morning commute. And although on-the-go, no one wants to play games alone. Gamers are seeking interaction, competition, and even more so these days, winnings – whether they be in game, or monetary. With this, nearly 31% of the most frequent gamers play social games, according to the ESA.
Given millennials are the largest population demographic in the U.S., and most are digitally savvy, they’re seeking new forms of entertainment, personal connections, and ways to spend and make money. Neil Howe, president of LifeCourse Associates and leading researcher on generations, says, “Millennials are putting [video games] at the center of their entertainment preferences, but it is a new kind of gaming that is more social, interactive and engaging.” Social games through mobile apps allow friends and players to connect without any physical boundaries.
And gaming providers are taking note. Social Gaming Network (SGN), one of the fastest growing mobile games studios, states that more than 500 million SGN games have been installed on leading mobile and social platforms to date. With this increase in popularity of both mobile and social gaming, mobile payment operators can present a new meaning to gaming on-the-go by enabling a pay-as-you-play model.
Gamers are looking for quick and easy access to their favorite games, and they also want it without the ongoing interruption or reminder to make a payment to get to the next level, or to purchase necessary in-game content. Simultaneously, game developers are finding new ways to monetize game content from their end – making the early levels of the game simple, and the following levels more complex and requiring payment/subscription for access.
This creates the idea of competition as an incentive for one player to want to pay to progress through the game with other gamers. Mobile payment operators can provide these gamers with convenient payment options to quickly access higher-level game features that put them one step ahead of their friend.
Who wants to spend time and effort worrying about payments? No one, especially a gamer. Mobile payment operators are addressing this issue by developing technology that allows for simple in-game payments made in a single tap or click, with no redirect out of the app or webpage. By adding the option to pay by in an instant click, it eliminates the need for lengthy payment forms and abandoned game purchases.
In bringing together the power of mobile, social and ecommerce, today’s on-the-go, interactive and competitive gamer is provided with the ultimate gaming experience.
Mobile payment operators are ready to engage with the viral nature of these games, allowing quick and easy access to payment capabilities that avoid interruptions and leverage the loyalty of gamers. With the evolution of gaming, from the traditional console to mobile and social platforms, gamers crave a highly competitive and lucrative experience that can only be achieved with advanced ecommerce payment technologies.
Joseph Hall is a vice president at Skrill USA, Inc.