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India leads the charge while pricing concerns hinder Asian uptake in new monetisation report

Niko Partners' report shows that in-game purchases accounted for 87.8% of player spending in Asia, the Middle East and North Africa.
India leads the charge while pricing concerns hinder Asian uptake in new monetisation report
Date Type Companies Involved Key Datapoint
Dec 15, 2023 report Niko Partners
  • In-Game Purchases (IAP) emerge as the dominant monetisation model in Asia & MENA, amassing a significant 87.8% of player spending
  • 30% of paying gamers in Asia & MENA have opted for monthly subscriptions to access video games
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Market intelligence platform on the Chinese and Southeast Asian video games industries Niko Partners has released a new Video Game Monetisation Models in Asia & MENA report that explores five key monetization strategies: Premium Games, Subscriptions, In-Game Purchases, In-Game Advertising, and Real Money Gaming.

Niko Partners compiled the report from multiple sources, including gamer surveys, industry interviews, financial reports, government statistics, and macroeconomic data to provide a comprehensive guide for game companies aiming to enhance gamer spending and maximise profits within existing regulations.

IAPs lead in Asia & MENA

In the Asia & MENA regions, in-game purchases (IAP) emerge as the dominant monetisation model, amassing a significant 87.8% of player spending. The report also outlines the importance of understanding and strategically employing this model for game companies seeking to thrive in these markets.

Price proves to be a major deterrent for non-spending gamers, with 39.3% of non-spending mobile gamers and 44.3% of non-spending PC gamers identifying it as the primary reason for not investing in video games. This insight underscores the significance of pricing strategies that cater to diverse consumer segments to encourage broader participation.

Rise in subscription-based gaming

As for premium titles, they also play a substantial role with 62.3% of gamers in Asia & MENA having purchased a premium game across various platforms in the past 12 months. This finding emphasises the continued relevance of traditional pay-to-play models in these regions.

The report further delves into subscription models, which shows that 30% of paying gamers in Asia & MENA have opted for monthly subscriptions to access video games. This figure increases to 51% when factoring in various gaming subscriptions, including value-added services such as Twitch Prime, signalling a growing trend toward subscription-based gaming services and presenting an opportunity for companies to explore diversified revenue streams.

Striking a balance

Unsurprisingly, in-game advertising (IGA) emerges as a less favoured aspect among mobile gamers in Asia & MENA, with 30% citing it as their most disliked feature. The report highlights the need for developers to carefully balance monetisation strategies, ensuring that advertising efforts enhance rather than detract from the overall gaming experience.

Real Money Gaming (RMG) finds particular popularity in India, where 7 in 10 gamers have engaged with RMG titles. This regional variation underscores the importance of tailoring monetisation approaches to specific market preferences.

In conclusion, the report lays out the new landscape for game companies operating in Asia & MENA, emphasising the dominance of IAPs and the significance of pricing strategies within the diverse monetisation landscape of these regions.