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In-game purchases are still the main source of income for game publishers

Published: 15:01, 25 June 2020
Blizzard
The standard loot box in Overwatch
Overwatch - Loot Box

According to the Newzoo 2020 Global Games Market report, in-game purchases are still the main source of income for game publishers on all platforms with 74 per cent of total revenue.

Microtransactions, loot boxes and in-game stores have caused many controversies in the gaming industry over the last decade but despite this, these type of monetisations have been the major source of income for the majority of game publishers and developers.

For example, FIFA's Ultimate Team generated $1.49 billion for EA in 2020 while Call of Duty: Modern Warfare's in-game net bookings more than doubled year-over-year versus Call of Duty: Black Ops 4. 

And it looks like the trend will continue for years to come. According to the latest report from Newzoo, in-game purchases are still the main source of income for games, with 74 per cent of the $159.3 billion in revenues in 2020.

Digital sales take 12 per cent of the total revenue, boxed sales are slowing down with 9 per cent while console subscriptions are on the rise with 4 per cent of total global game revenue in 2020.

Newzoo predict that by 2023, in-game purchases will rise to at least 77 per cent of the total game revenue. 

Newzoo Newzoo chart showing Global Game Revenues per Stream Newzoo - Global Game Revenues per Stream

This, of course, means more free to play games with in-game stores, which is something that world's greatest publishers such as EA and Activision are already offering with Apex Legends and Call of Duty: Warzone, respectively.

You can find Newzoo report here for more info.

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