Free2Play Forecasted for $2 Billion by 2015

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It might sound sort of strange, free to play games being worth $2 Billion, but when you take into account advertisements, virtual currency, in-game items and shops...it adds up quickly.

A new report from DFC Intelligence forecasts that the market for English language client-based free-to-play (F2P) games on the PC is expected to grow from about $250 million in 2009 to $2 billion by 2015. This growth is largely due to widespread adoption of high-speed Internet connections combined with a growing willingness of consumers to buy digital content and improved payment options such as prepaid retail cards.

Not to mention the massive explosion of free-to-play games in general. They make it sound like just because people have high-speed Internet the market will grow. The market has been growing massively and even former subscription-based games like Everquest II are going to free-to-play business models, or rather ’freemium’ with free areas and areas and goods that can only be had by paying for them.

Most F2P games operate under a model where users can download and play a game for free and have the option to buy virtual goods or upgrade to a subscription package that opens additional play content. "F2P games can have multiple payment options and most successful games look to bundle products in creative packages such as the ability to buy a monthly or annual subscription that include a set amount of virtual currency. Creativity in marketing, packaging and distribution are the keys to generating increased revenue," said David Cole, an analyst at DFC.

By the end of 2010, it is expected that English language client based F2P games will have a combined total of 128 million registered users. While this is not as high as many browser based games and games on social networks, F2Ps have fairly high conversion rates. "Registered user numbers are a fairly meaningless metric in this market. Once a consumer is able to get a game downloaded and running conversion rates for high-end F2P games tend to be fairly high," says Yoon.

The new report entitled The Market for English Language Client-Based Free-to-Play PC Games has complete five-year forecasts, business model scenarios and detailed company profiles. DFC Intelligence also has several reports available surveying consumer attitudes on F2P and digital content in general.

In : PC

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