Gamers using tablet devices are expected to spend $3.03 billion (£1.98 billion) on in-app purchases in 2016, more than ten times last year’s estimated total of $301 million. The figures come from a new report published by Juniper Research, which says the increase will be driven by the rapid adoption of tablets and the growing acceptance of in-game purchasing.
However, smartphones will remain the main device for making in-app purchases. More than $6 billion is expected to be spent on them in 2016, double the tablet figure.
According to the report, people who’d previously used dedicated portable gaming devices are now moving to tablets and, to a lesser extent, to smartphones as well. It notes that the ‘freemium’ model of free apps with optional payments later is being embraced by tablet users but can’t be implemented as easily on portable gaming devices.
In addition, the report points out that more and more developers are now using virtual currencies to monetise mobile games rather than relying on in-game items or pay-per-download titles.
Siân Rowlands, research analyst at Juniper Research and the author of the report, said “When we consider that only a small amount of gamers actually make in-game purchases, and those that do typically only spend a few dollars, it becomes apparent that there are a small proportion of consumers spending thousands annually on these virtual currencies, who subsidise the game for everyone else.”
The majority of in-game purchases are expected to be made in the Far East & China and North America. Together, these regions will account for over 86% of all in-game spending in 2016.