While recent controversies may have finally gotten the attention of legislators, consumers are still voting for the inclusion of predatory loot boxes with their wallets.
According to a report from SuperData, gamers may have voiced their unhappiness over the exploitative business practices of game publishers to Reddit and social media, but they are filling those same corporate coffers with impulse purchases.
This mixed messaging is far beyond pocket change, however. Free-to-Play gaming has grown from $11 billion in 2012 to $22 billion already this year. Estimates propose another $3 billion increase by 2021. Currently, less than 23% of game revenue comes from sales; 77.2% is fed directly from DLC, microtransactions, and game subscriptions.
It means that we are much more likely to see a decrease in up-front retail pricing than a decline in the proclivity of loot boxes outside of some sort of regulatory effort to curtail their growing prevalence. According to SuperData’s analysis:
Publishers are willing to sacrifice the full-game box price because they believe that subscription services can increase player retention and spending by effectively exposing players to other games within a publisher’s portfolio that they would otherwise ignore in today’s market due to the existence of an upfront price tag for games.
Still, these trends do not take into account the recent consumer outcry, nor do they make any estimation considering prospective regulation that could hamper or outright ban their use on the minors that publishing companies are so enthusiastically training.
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