A new report from Juniper Research has found that revenue generated from loot boxes used in video games will exceed $20 billion by 2025, up from an estimated $15 billion in 2020. However, growth, averaging 5% per year, will be slower than previous years, as consumers become fatigued with loot boxes and legislative constraints limiting the market.
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Loot Boxes Legislative Scrutiny Increasing
The report, In-game Gambling & Loot Boxes: Legislation, Market Evolution & Forecasts 2021-2025 Report, expects more than 230 million gamers will buy loot boxes in 2025. Mobile gamers will make up the majority of these, as alternative forms of in-game monetisation, like battle passes and downloadable content packs, are less common in mobile gaming. Overall, we expect approximately 5% of gamers will buy loot boxes that year.
Juniper Research notes that legislation restricting loot boxes, by either classifying them as a form of gambling or banning them outright, will become more prevalent, particularly in Europe. This is leading several publishers to develop new ways of using loot boxes, ranging from ‘transparent’ loot boxes to changing how they are purchased, in order to bypass legislation.
‘Loot boxes in their traditional form are often considered exploitative; leading to increased legislative scrutiny,’ remarked research co-author Nick Hunt. ‘We expect to see game publishers react to this in future by changing loot box formats, in order to keep them compelling and outside the legal realms of gambling.’
Skins Gambling an Ongoing Feature
The report also found that skins gambling, where in-game items are wagered on games of chance or the outcome of eSports matches, will have total wagers worth $321 million in 2025; $100 million more than in 2020, but down from a market high in 2016, due largely to the majority of skins gambling sites being blocked in many countries. Juniper Research expects that gambling will continue until trading platforms prohibit these practices outright, rather than merely limiting them.
In-game Gambling market research: https://www.juniperresearch.com/researchstore/content-digital-media/in-game-gambling-loot-boxes-research-report
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