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At Gamasutra sister site GamesOnDeck, an editorial by Gamevil USA president Kyu C. Lee (Nom series) examines the broadening microtransactions trend, referenci

Leigh Alexander, Contributor

October 30, 2007

2 Min Read

At Gamasutra sister site GamesOnDeck, an editorial by Gamevil USA president Kyu C. Lee examines how the broadening microtransactions trend is becoming part of the mobile gaming industry, examining how companies like Gamevil, Nexon Mobile, and Com2us are leading the market trend with mobile games that feature microtransactions. Microtransactions were a successful trend in the Asian PC gaming market before they ever spread to other platforms and regional markets. But as Lee explains, rampant piracy soon became a problem in Korea, sending the clear message the users were becoming less willing to pay for PC games. Lee illustrates how this crisis quickly became an opportunity for the microtransactions business model: "Because of this, PC games did not sell well at retail in Korea and companies were not able to make as much money off of this. One of the solutions to this problem was creating online PC games that have a Client-Server Model, which would verify if the user was a subscriber. This became popular for hardcore gamers but didn't effectively target the casual gamers due to the high subscription fee that the people had to pay every month. Free online games became extremely popular too, but how do gaming companies make money then? This is where microtransactions come into play. Around the same time, companies like Neowiz had introduced microtransactions through selling clothes and accessories for the avatars used in PC chatting. This model was extremely successful and online game companies started giving out the games for free. As these free games became popular in Korea, microtransactions of special items and additional features in games became popular. The users were playing for free, but were also paying consumers." But how does this apply to mobile gaming? Microtransactions have proved a viable model on that platform as well, and in the full Games On Deck editorial feature, Lee provides in-depth examples and projections on the present and future of this developing trend (no reg. required, please feel free to link to this feature from other websites).

About the Author(s)

Leigh Alexander


Leigh Alexander is Editor At Large for Gamasutra and the site's former News Director. Her work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Variety, Slate, Paste, Kill Screen, GamePro and numerous other publications. She also blogs regularly about gaming and internet culture at her Sexy Videogameland site. [NOTE: Edited 10/02/2014, this feature-linked bio was outdated.]

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