Game Changers: Monetization in the Game Industry

This industry report examines emerging business models that are revolutionizing the videogame industry. It analyzes market trends for PC, console, and mobile games and provides an investigation of the effects of the emerging videogame models on payments and distribution channels.

“The videogame industry is going through profound changes,” said Pietro Macchiarella, Research Analyst. “New game categories and new devices are attracting more people than ever before to videogames. In addition, emerging business models like free-to-play prove that alternative models are better ways of monetizing specific audiences. These trends create both threats and opportunities for every player in the industry, from developers to distributors. It is essential to be aware of these trends in order to better grasp how they will impact current businesses.”

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The Bottom Line


1.0   Notes on Methodology and Report Focus       

1.1 Data Sources      

1.2 Scope of Report 

2.0   Game Platforms: Market Trends         

2.1 PCs         

2.2 Consoles

2.3 Mobile and Portable Devices

3.0   Disrupting Monetization Models

3.1 Free-to-Play and Facebook games

3.2 Indie, Arcade, and Mini Games on Consoles       

3.3 Downloadable Content on Consoles (Add-ons)  

3.4 The $0.99 Games and In-App Purchases

3.5 Cloud Gaming as a Tool for Publishers and Retailers

3.6 In-Game Advertising      

3.7 Online Pass         

3.8 Gambling

4.0   Payments          

4.1 Online Transactions        

4.2 Pre-paid Cards    

4.3 Other Payment Methods

5.0   Forecast

5.1 Emerging Models           

5.1.1    Smartphone Gaming

5.1.2    Tablet Gaming

5.1.3    Social Gaming

5.1.4    Free-to-Play MMOs



PC Gaming Ecosystem
PC Games
Percentage of Gamers Playing MMORPGs
Cumulative Sales of Current-Generation Game Consoles
Next-Generation Nintendo Console
Current-Generation Game Consoles – Content Available
Game Console Ecosystem
Penetration of Downloadable Mobile Games
Mobile Gaming Ecosystem
Revenue Models - Mobile Gaming
Nintendo 3DS
Sony PlayStation Vita
Revenue Models - Handheld Game Consoles
Average Monthly Spending for Facebook and Free-to-Play Gamers
Free-to-Play Monetization Models - Advantages and Disadvantages
Factors Influencing Console Game Purchases
Indie, Arcade, and Mini Games
Top Downloadable Content for PS3 - December 2011
Downloadable Content on Consoles
Top Paid and Top Grossing iPhone Games
Top Paid and Top Grossing Android Games
Average Price of Top Paid and Top Grossing Mobile Games
In-Game Purchase Behavior
The Advantages of Cloud Gaming
In-game Advertising Formats
Attitude Toward In-Game Advertising
Online Passes
Top Facebook Casino-Themed Games - February 2012
Online Transactions - Ecosystem
Attitude Towards In-Game Advertising
Forecast Methodology - Smartphone Gaming
End-User Smartphone Gaming Revenue Forecast
Forecast Methodology - Tablet Gaming
End-User Tablet Gaming Revenue Forecast
Forecast Methodology - Social Gaming
Social Gaming - Revenue Forecast
Forecast Methodology - Free-to-Play MMOs
Free-to-Play MMO Revenues per Region
Free-to-Play MMOs - Revenue Forecast

Publish Date: 1Q 2012

Pages: 56

Authored By:
Pietro Macchiarella - Research Analyst

© February 2012 Parks Associates
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, in any form or by any means, without permission in writing from the publisher.

Printed in the United States of America.

Parks Associates has made every reasonable effort to ensure that all information in this report is correct. We assume no responsibility for any inadvertent errors.

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