SOURCE: Live Gamer

Live Gamer

June 10, 2010 08:00 ET

DFC Intelligence and Live Gamer Release Market Forecasts for Free-to-Play and MMOG Lite Gaming Category

Results Predict Market to More Than Double in Five Years

SAN DIEGO, CA--(Marketwire - June 10, 2010) -  Research firm DFC Intelligence and Live Gamer, the premier total commerce solution for interactive entertainment, today announced new projections for the Free-to-Play/MMOG Lite (F2P) gaming category. According to data from their 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 surveying consumers and auditing actual company data, the study also found a clear distinction in individual games. Top Korean F2P games that require a large client download and feature robust game play are able to convert over 10 percent of users into paying customers. Meanwhile, many of the simple games on social networks like Facebook have less than one percent of users that purchase goods or currencies for the game. With a lower customer acquisition cost on social networks, the report suggests that a game can do well with a large volume of free users.

"Another interesting result of this study is that the idea that F2P games have a 'microtransaction' business model is actually quite misleading," says DFC analyst David Cole. "Historically, the average purchase is over $10 and some games offer an optional subscription. Going forward, it is obvious that understanding consumer purchase patterns and preferences will be a necessity for continued success. Advanced analytics provided by platforms such as Live Gamer's are a valuable resource for tracking these patterns."

"The free-to-play model is increasing in popularity at an astounding rate, both in the US and worldwide," said Andrew Schneider, co-founder and president of Live Gamer. "We're seeing average revenue per paying user top $28 per month across the 145 titles that Live Gamer powers around the world. With engaging games and a solid monetization strategy in place developers and publishers can see great success leveraging item-based business models."

The survey was conducted in January and February 2010 among nearly 5,000 gamers in North America and Europe. In addition, DFC Intelligence analyzed over seven years of historical Live Gamer micro-transaction data from multiple countries including South Korea, U.S., Japan, Germany, Vietnam and the Philippines. For the full report, visit www.dfcint.com/wp/?p=272. To learn more about Live Gamer, visit www.livegamer.com.

About DFC Intelligence
DFC Intelligence is a strategic market research and consulting firm focused on interactive entertainment and the emerging video game, online game, interactive entertainment and portable game markets. Since 1995 DFC has published in-depth strategic market reports and subscription-based research services. DFC research is used by over 300 leading companies in over 30 countries worldwide.

About Live Gamer
Live Gamer provides a total commerce solution for global micro-transaction-based businesses. Spanning online games, digital entertainment, and social networks, Live Gamer provides an advanced offering that goes beyond billing to drive core business metrics and optimize new transaction-based revenue streams. Combining its micro-transaction platform, catalog management, storefronts, merchandising and anti-fraud solutions, scalable publisher support and international payment gateways, Live Gamer's technology has been adopted by leading publishers in gaming, social and entertainment including Acclaim, CCR, Funcom, Hangout Industries, NHN USA, Quepasa and Sony Online Entertainment, supporting over 80 million users in 23 countries. www.livegamer.com

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