In-app purchases on tablets will contribute more than $3bn to the mobile market in 2016 according to Juniper’s Mobile and Tablet Games report, ten times the $301m total seen last year. But smartphones will still contribute more than double this, around $6bn by 2016. China and North America, the two largest smart device markets, will account for around 86 per cent of this spend.
The report says that portable gaming devices are losing out to tablets as people feel more comfortable engaging with games that have a freemium model and are increasingly looking for 3G and 4G-enabled devices. Developers are increasingly turning towards virtual currencies, understanding that a high-quality game is not enough to guarantee a profit.
Siân Rowlands, 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."