Live Gamer and DFC Intelligence have announced new projections for the Free-to-Play/MMOG Lite (F2P) gaming category. According to data from our recent survey, entitled “Consumer Trends in Virtual Goods and Downloadable Gaming in North America and Europe,” the category is expected to explode over the next few years, reaching over $7 billion worldwide by 2015 – more than double the revenue for 2009.
MMOG Lite products allow for persistent worlds and character building, but unlike large commercial massively multiplayer online games (MMOGs) are more focused on virtual item and optional subscription business models. Examples include Free Realms , RuneScape, and MapleStory. In North America and Europe alone, DFC forecasts that the MMOG Lite market will grow from about $800 million in 2009 to over $3 billion by 2015. In addition to the 5000 player survey, we found through nine years of aggregate Live Gamer data spanning 145+ titles in 23 countries that average revenue per paying user tops $28 per month.
Today, with the rapid adoption of micro-transaction-based business models in the free-to-play MMO and social gaming categories, virtual currencies purchased with real-world currency has become the prevailing model and primary revenue driver for many game companies. As a result, it has become increasingly important for publishers and developers to understand the regulatory framework that govern these cash-backed stored value systems to effectively grow and manage their online businesses. As a service to our partners, clients, and friends, Live Gamer has invited the law firm Perkins Coie LLP, a leading authority on this burgeoning subject, to present their perspective on the current state of the industry. Attorneys Dax Hansen, Kirk Soderquist and Ron Koo will address legal issues impacting electronic stored value systems and related IP-ownership matters.