A new study from Juniper Research estimates that mobile gaming, specifically tablet-based games that are based around the freemium model, will see users shelling out more than $3 billion in in-app purchases by 2016. Smartphones, however, will see over double that amount spent on in-app purchases at the same time.
This will come about because of the increasing acceptance of the freemium model, which offers players in-game boosts or upgrades upon payment of a fee, as well as the increase in mobile gaming. Purchases will likely occur via in-game virtual currency which is bought with real-world cash.
The study found that only a small percentage of players are engaging with the freemium model at the moment, who, report author Siân Rowlands says, are “spending thousands annually on these virtual currencies, [and] who subsidise the game for everyone else.”
The study also found that the majority of in-app purchases based around mobile gaming will come from China, the Far East and North America in 2016, with those areas accounting for more than 86% of money spent.