Mobile Games: Microtransactions as a Phenonemon
Mobile games have become a phenomenon lately. Apps like Game of War, Clash of Clans, or even games like Fallout Shelter spawned from the idea of earning money from micro-transactions. Unlike their console or PC counterparts, mobile games typically are free or cost less than five dollars and are available to anyone with a smart phone. However, the companies have started using micro-transactions as a way to earn the money that they spent to develop the game itself.
Micro-transactions can cost ninety-nine cents to ten dollars. Due to the micro-transactions being a major part of these games, people end up spending more on the mobile games than they do on console games.
One of the most popular mobile games is Game of War, which has some players spending close to six-hundred dollars on a game that is supposedly “free to play.” It seems that players are more willing to pay for content that is less than one dollar compared to content on consoles or PC that cost more than eight dollars each.
In addition to mobile game content being less expensive initially than their console/PC counterparts, mobile games rely on a mixture of celebrity endorsements, for example Game of War features celebrities such as Kate Upton in their advertisements. These celebrities ease the non-gamer into thinking that the game is just as good as the console/PC games. The endorsement might make them more willing to download and play the game. It would also result in a new user who will most likely spend a small amount of money over long periods of time so that he can upgrade his towns, soldiers, and infrastructure.
Another reason that microtransactions may cost gamers more money long term compared to consoles involves downloadable content. Console games tend to have more season pass sales which allow the buyer to access all the future downloadable content for a lower price than a person who buys the downloadable content individually. Mobile games do not have this season pass, and as a result, people will pay for items as they come out since they cost much less upfront than their console/PC counterpart.
Overall, if mobile games keep content at the low prices they are already selling at instead of the higher prices of their console/PC counterparts, the mobile game market will keep on rising with the profit they make.