$22bn spent on PC microtransactions in 2017 - report

$22bn spent on PC microtransactions in 2017 - report

Money spent on PC free-to-play games has doubled in the last five years.

That's according to research from Superdata - concerning microtransactions and EA's Star Wars Battlefront II woes - which says that $22bn has been spent in 2017 compared with just $11bn in 2012. The company predicts this figure will grow to $25bn in 2022.

Across PC and console, service-based monetisation has risen 146 per cent during this five-year period, while product based monetisation has risen 120 per cent.

SuperData notes that sales of add-on content are increasingly making more money than the old-school one-time purchase model. This is part of the growing games as a service model.

"By shifting to games as a service, large triple-A publishers hypothesise that future game monetisation may eventually do away with $60 full-game products in favor of product ecosystems, where players pay for subscriptions services to access base games and further monetise through in-game purchases for the content they enjoy playing," SuperData said.

"Publishers are willing to sacrifice the full-game box price because they believe that subscription services can increase player retention and spending by effectively exposing players to other games within a publisher’s portfolio that they would otherwise ignore in today’s market due to the existence of an upfront price tag for games."

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.