A new study published by Juniper projects that tablet gamers are poised to spend a record amount of money via in-app purchases by 2016.
The rapid take-up of tablets, combined with the growing acceptance of in-game purchasing and virtual currencies will result in an estimated $3.03 billion of sales in 2016.
If so, that will be ten-times the $301 million figure calculated for 2012.
Increasingly, the report shows, developers are using virtual currencies to monetize their games, rather than offering in-game items or pay-per-download titles.
“This can increase users’ engagement with the game, as once the virtual currency is purchased, it can only be spent within that game,” explains report author Siân Rowlands. “Developers are now beginning to focus more on the stickiness of their game, as they realize that creating a high-quality game is not enough to guarantee a profit.”
The report went on to point out how free-to-play casino style games were beginning to see increased profits from in-app purchases, even though users are not playing for real money stakes.
All told, the majority of in-game purchase revenue on tablets will be made in the Far East & China and North America, which will account for over 86% of users’ spend in 2016.