April 25th, 2012 | By Richard Glenn
It’s no secret that the free-to-play model has done wonders for a plethora of video game developers, particularly those geared towards mobile devices, but what we weren’t quite sure about was exactly how much of an impact they’re making as far as the wallets of consumers are concerned.
Thankfully, a recent NPD report has helped shed a little light on the matter, and its findings are striking to say the least. According to the NPD data, gathered from an online survey of 6,416 gamers, four in every ten freemium game purchasers have made at least one in-game micropayment in order to enhance their gaming experiences. Moreover, the data suggested that 84% of individuals who set up trial accounts within games with a free-to-play entry point decided to continue playing the game after their trial periods had expired, lending support to the claim that limited free components of larger gaming experiences function effectively as successful enticements to the majority of players.
However, while the statistics provide an intriguing overview of the freemium market, one might note that a more specific breakdown, namely one that distinguished between games typically considered ‘casual’, such as those enjoyed via Facebook, and core AAA experiences, such as Team Fortress 2 and Everquest. Furthermore, there doesn’t seem to be any form of separation between the platforms on which the free-to-play games in question were based, opening the results up to an element of scepticism from those looking for a more definitive set of figures.