Battle Pass Utilization Has Doubled Over The Past Year, According To New Study
GameRefinery released its latest mobile gaming report today, shedding light on new trends throughout the industry. Most noticeable was the rise in Battle Pass use, with twice as many games now offering a premium Battle Pass compared to a year ago.
As governments crackdown on loot boxes and legislation is slowly working to limit their effectiveness, developers are looking for other ways to monetize free-to-play games. And it seems that Battle Passes have become the new gold standard. According to GameRefinery’s Market Snapshot report, “Battle Pass utilization has doubled (20% to 40%) over the year in the US top grossing 100 games.”
The report also notes that the monetization method is especially popular with casual games, including Merge Dragons – which added a Battle Pass in 2020.
While Battle Passes are big news in the US, GameRefinery noticed a different trend in Japan. “Special currencies and materials accompanying live events have had an established role in Japanese top 100 games for some time now, and they are certainly not diminishing in popularity,” reads the report. “Their utilization rate among top 100 grossing games increased by 12 percentage points from 74 to 86 percent.”
Free-to-play games are big business in today’s marketplace, and publishers have taken notice. Look no further than Genshin Impact for a prime example – although it doesn’t use a Battle Pass, it relies heavily on special currency to obtain new characters. This technique is nothing new and, according to Joel Julkunen, VP of Games at GameRefinery, it’s a trend that will continue.
Julkunen believes “character purchases in RPGs also have the added effect of enhancing the collectible aspects of the game, and in Strategy games, character purchases and VIP systems provide players with a faster alternative to power progression.”
Top performers in the mobile space include Roblox Corporation – which saw increased “dominance” in the US market – Niantic, and Mihoyo. All three of these developers make liberal use of monetization methods, while also offering deep experiences without the need to open your wallet. Many analysts have an optimistic outlook for the industry in 2021, although it may experience a dip as we climb out of lockdown and return to our normal schedules.
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- Game News
Jon Bitner is an Associate Editor for TheGamer. His passion for gaming started with his first console (Sega Genesis) and he hasn’t stopped playing since. His favorite titles include The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Team Fortress 2, Rainbow Six Siege, Pokémon Sword & Shield, Old School Runescape, Skyrim, and Breath of the Wild. He can usually be found playing the latest RPG, FPS, or some obscure mobile game. Before working as Associate News Editor, Jon earned a Biology degree and worked in the Biotechnology sector — experiences that taught him how to put words together and make sentences. When not playing or writing about the gaming industry, he enjoys sleeping, eating, and staring at birds.
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