Consumers prefer season passes and episodic content new report finds
Despite all of the fuss from season passes and episodic content, it seems consumers actually prefer this type of delivery in games. Digital River, a monetization service company, found that games as a service have tripled the industry’s value.
The report, titled Defend Your Kingdom: What Game Publishers Need to Know about Monetization and Fraud, revealed a few interesting trends in the gaming market overall. Most notably that, “A key stream of in-game content serves player expectations and increases revenue per user.”
Furthermore: “This does not just apply to free-to-play titles: In 2016, a quarter of all digital revenue from PC games with an upfront cost came from additional content.”
“Consumers are less willing to pay $60 for a boxed game and instead choose titles with a steady stream of new content,” the report said. “Publishers seek to meet these expectations and have adopted a ‘games as a service’ model, releasing fewer titles over time while keeping players engaged longer with regular updates and add-ons.”
The move to digital content in all forms of gaming is largely to do with this. $60 is a lot more money for an icon than a box, and the report finds that consumers often want more for their money in the digital space.
However, digitalization brings other issues, specifically gray market keys. Companies like G2A and Kinguin sell gray market keys, which hurt publishers more than a lost sale.
“When the fraud is detected, publishers who sold the keys are hit with chargeback fees,” the report reads. “Game makers can deactivate illegitimate keys, but the players who bought them do not usually know they are part of a scam. Gamers may believe their keys have been deactivated for no reason, and this can cause a negative backlash.”