The information contained in The Download on Digital Report  (PDF) was commissioned by WorldPay  and created by Loudhouse in March 2013. The survey was conducted among consumers who have purchased digital content and video games online in the last 12 months. The sample comprised 11,483 consumers aged 18+, 10,075 of which purchased digital goods and services and 7,554 who have purchased video games and 6,776 that have purchased both. While the consumers were surveyed from 7 different countries not including Canada, I feel that the information contained in the report is of relevance to Village Gamer’s development industry reader demographic.
Global video gamers are frustrated that when they purchase a game on one device they are unable to access versions of the games across other devices – 84% wish they were able to do this, with 55% of consumers willing to pay extra for this function, according to research findings unveiled today by WorldPay, a UK-based provider of payment processing, risk and alternative payments.
The Download on Digital Report, a survey of more than 11,400 consumers (South Korea: 1,129, China: 2,000, Brazil: 2,086, India: 2,027, Russia: 1,076, USA: 2,059, UK: 1,106) who have purchased video games and digital content in the last 12 months, found that gamers in these seven regions are relatively device agnostic with 59% playing on both a PC and console. However, video gamers most frequently buy through their consoles (39%) followed by social media games (38%).
Colin Murray, VP Video Games, WorldPay comments: “Restrictions have always existed around the ability to access video games on different devices. However, an evolution is taking place in terms of consumer demands over how and when they access content and games they have purchased. Subsequently there is growing frustrations regarding the limitations in place. Consumers have shown a willingness to pay extra for this functionality, and if video game merchants consider reviewing the rules around multi-device accessibility, it could present additional revenue streams.”
The influence of social environments
Video gamers like to purchase in a social environment – 66% will tend to buy content in the company of others – family (24%), partners (14%) and friends (8%), while consumers in India are the most likely to purchase in a social setting – 80% compared to 55% of consumers in the UK. This ‘social’ behaviour is influenced by the preference to play multi-player games – 66% would prefer to do so rather than in single-player mode, and over half (56%) only play with known people (e.g. guilds or named competitors). Preference to socialise when purchasing and engaging with content and games is extending too and being influenced by social media channels – 72% of consumers would like to be able to click on an item they see on a social media site and be taken straight to the option to purchase. The closure of physical stores is directly impacting the volume of video games purchased online: 69% of consumers are buying more online as a result. Subsequently 70% of video games are bought as digital versions rather than hard copies.
Key findings from The Download on Digital Report included:
- Payment method preference – Credit card is king for the majority of global video game purchases. 32% prefer and tend to use credit cards for personal console purchases, followed by debit cards (22% and 21% respectively) and e-wallets, (13% and 11%). The trend is the same on public gaming consoles and hand-held gaming consoles
- Purchasing frustrations – Consumers payment frustrations include pop-ups / re-directions (31%), needing to remember passwords and not offering the preferred method of payment of choice (27%)
- Console competition – 45% own a PlayStation, while a quarter (27%) have an Xbox, followed by 11% that own a Wii
Murray concludes: “The ability to purchase within video games is a growing area and presents a huge revenue opportunity. However, consideration needs to be given to the payment frustrations that are already being experienced by consumers. Video gamers expect purchases to be straight forward and secure. Payment options need to be built into games that offer this service without leaving the game experience.”