Mobile Game Market Faces Challenges: Rising Prices and External Web Stores Impact Players

Mobile Game Market Faces Challenges: Rising Prices and External Web Stores Impact Players

There’s no denying that the mobile game market is encountering tough economic conditions. Factors such as post-pandemic shifts in player behavior, decreased consumer spending, and the influence of Apple’s ATT have contributed to the market’s first decline in over a decade. According to Newzoo, the mobile games market saw a 6.4% decline in revenue in 2022 and is predicted to decrease by 3% in 2023, as projected by GameDevReports.

In response to these challenges, studios and publishers have adopted various strategies. One notable trend is the launch of external web stores, allowing the sale of in-game items outside of the traditional in-app purchases (IAPs), thus bypassing the commissions charged by platforms like Google and Apple.

Recently, several popular titles, including Mario Kart Tour, Genshin Impact, and Octopath Traveler, have raised the prices of their purchasable items. This increase in prices is partly due to the Federal Reserve’s interest rate rise, which has led to a surge in the US dollar exchange rate. Since Apple settles its revenue in US dollars, the exchange rate surge has impacted the App Store revenue, prompting Apple to adjust prices in various regions.

The price rises primarily affect iOS games, and developers have employed different approaches to communicate these changes. Some games, like Octopath Traveler: Champions of the Continent, informed players of the price increases through pop-up messages, while others, like Tower of Fantasy, only applied the rises to their iOS versions. Notably, League of Legends: Wild Rift leveraged the price increases to their advantage by offering a campaign where players could benefit from doubling their premium currency purchases before the price hike.

Nintendo took a more player-friendly approach by adjusting the amount of premium currency received in each pack, compensating for the price rises in Mario Kart Tour. Diablo Immortal took a different route by actually decreasing its prices and introducing new in-game currency as a response to the criticism it received.

Apple has announced plans to provide developers with more price points, simplifying the management of prices across different countries and regions. Additionally, following the court case between Epic Games and Apple, more developers are launching external web stores to circumvent platform fees. Games like RAID: Shadow Legends and others offer players better deals for in-game purchases through these stores.

While it remains to be seen how many players will embrace external stores, the prospect of rising prices might encourage more users to explore these options. In the future, Apple is also expected to allow third-party app stores on its platforms, aligning with the EU’s digital market laws.

For a comprehensive understanding of the mobile market and its trends, feel free to explore related articles below.

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