This news will very likely elicit replies of “well, duh” from many, but now there are numbers from Superdata to back it up: Overall in-game spending is down over the last year, and the data analysis company believes shattered trust in game publisher microtransaction schemes is to blame.
According to Superdata, in-game spending on PC has remained fairly static while in-game spending on console has slowly declined over the past year. Additional content purchases failed to crest more than 8% of players in the past month for big-name titles like Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 and Fortnite, and 51% of gamers simply bought the game they wanted to play while outright avoiding add-on content.
Superdata contends that several factors are contributing to this spending shift, but ultimately believes that player sensitivity to monetization and an outright glut of in-game cash shops are the biggest reasons for the trend:
“In-game spending as we know it has reached a saturation point. Between loot boxes, battle passes, one-time booster packs and individual cosmetic purchases, there is no shortage of in-game monetization tactics. These strategies, however, are not enticing everyone to purchase additional content. Developers must seek out and identify the best approach for converting players to spenders or earning back player trust that was lost due to poorly implemented microtransaction models.”