Us gamers have our fair share of playing free-to-play (F2P) games, the likes of Counter Strike: Global Offensive and Dota 2. But, did you know that F2P games make up a whopping 80% of all digital games sales last year? According to Niko, that seems to be the case, especially so for mobile games.
The F2P model has proven to be the most successful model for mobile gaming, with F2P accounting for 98.5% of all mobile games revenue. Every top 100 highest grossing mobile games for 2019 in Asia are F2P, including Mobile Legends: Bang Bang and PUBG Mobile. The Moonton game generated up to US$307 million total earnings in Southeast Asia alone last year – Malaysian and Indonesian gamers were the main contributors of that number. No wonder why mobile gaming has been overtaking PC gaming revenue in Malaysia and Singapore
To enlighten a few, F2P games allow players to play pretty much the whole main game for free. But, the way these games make profit is through monetisation (the act of earning profits), taking on the form of either advertisements or in-app purchases. The latter can be broken down into: pay-to-win, play-to-win, gacha, and battle pass.
“After launching its Royale Pass (battle pass), PUBG Mobile saw a global spending increase of 365% for the first week since its introduction compared to the prior three weeks. And in May 2020, PUBG Mobile was the top-grossing title worldwide, driving more than (US)$226 million in total revenue.”Niko
For more detailed information on how prevalent F2P games are in the field, check out Niko’s report From playing to paying: The art of monetizing games in Asia.