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The consumer interest in games spiked last spring amid the pandemic and lockdown. During the long-lasting stay-at-home period, the gaming industry managed to remarkably develop a customer base and to accumulate colossal user experience that helps develop the market.
From January 1 until May 31, 2021, Russian gamers made 40% more online purchases via gaming resources than in the same period of 2019, while the turnover of these platforms increased 2.2 times. Sales of game consoles increased 3.6 times, while sales of video cards increased by 44%. These conclusions were made by analysts of YooMoney and CheckIndex of the OFD Platform Company (in the Sberbank "ecosystem"). Results of a survey by Sports.ru among 1.5 thousand gamers showed that 44% respondents began spending more on games—up to 1,000 rubles per month.
According to the survey results, the greater half of the Russian audience (54.5%) prefers multiplayer games, while others choose single-player ones. Favorite game genres include shooters (59.6%), RPG (56.4%), and actions (53.8%). Strategies (40.5%), simulators (37.4%), and MOBA (35.1%) enjoy a lesser popularity. Only 15.8% respondents are MMO fans, 12.2% play quests, and fighting games are loved by 9.4% only.
The vast majority of the gamers surveyed (83.3%) choose desktop games, while the others prefer mobile. PS4 predictably leads among consoles, used by 32.2%, while only 8.3% have PS5. Nintendo Switch is preferred by 4% only, Xbox One and One X by 3.4%, and Xbox Series S and X are played by 2.5%. Cloud gaming services are used by fewer than 1% of Sports.ru users. At that, the main gaming platform has not changed for 60% respondents during the last four years. 16.7% more started playing on PlayStation, 16.1% on PC, and 3.6% on Xbox.
45.2% respondents to the survey make purchases once in several months, and 20% do it only once a year. 16.8% gamers are ready to spend on games once a month, 8% several times a month, and 1.1% every week. The remaining 8.9% respondents told that they do not buy games. Most respondents (65.3%) spend up to 1,000 rubles per month on games, 31.3% spend from 1,000 to 5,000 rubles, and 3% spend from 5,000 to 10,000 rubles. 0.4% only are ready to spend more than 10,000 rubles on games every month.
In-game expenses to get access to certain options are also spread among gamers. 83.8% users make such purchases once in several months, 9.1% once a month, 5.2% once in several weeks, and only 1.4% once a week. 0.3% respondents make purchases every several days, and 0.2% do it every day.
That said, 39.6% spend fewer than 1,000 rubles on in-game items, while 10.8% spend from 1,000 to 5,000 rubles. 0.9 respondents spend from 5,000 to 10,000 rubles, 0.3% spend from 10,000 to 25,000 rubles, and only 0.2% spend more than 25,000 rubles. Other 48.2% of gamers answered that they do not spend money in the virtual world of games.
As compared to 2018, the level of expenses on games did not change for 27.9% of the gamers surveyed. 28% began spending less, 25.1% began spending a bit more, and 19% much more.
The analysis of payments on gaming resources for the first five months of 2019, 2020, and 2021 showed a sustainable growth of the number of purchases among gamers. From January 1 until May 31, 2021, the number of purchases has increased by 30% as compared to the same period in 2020, and the turnover of stores has increased 2.1 times. The average spend increased by 62% and amounted to 367 rubles, while the average number of orders per one game lover came up to eight (+64%). The comparison of payments in 2021 with the data in 2019 shows an even higher growth of the number of purchases and turnover of online gaming platforms by 40% and 2.2 times respectively. The average spend has increased by 50%, while the average number of purchases by one gamer has grown by 115%.
'The gaming industry is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the world, and the pandemic has boosted its growth even more. Russia is living through a real boom of the demand for computer games. For the first five months of the last year, the number of gamers increased most in the Republic of Ingushetia (by 38%) and the number of game purchases in Saint Petersburg (four times). In the same period of 2021, Saint Petersburg showed the biggest growth in the number of game fans among the regions (4.2 times), and Arkhangelsk Oblast demonstrated the biggest growth in the number of game purchases (twice),' says Ivan Glazachev, CEO of YooMoney. 'Nearly 90% gamers have mostly paid for their purchases from their desktops, and the rest have used smartphones. As for payment methods, Pay platforms are very well-liked. In 2021, they showed a 3.8 times growth as compared to the previous year. Bank card payments demonstrated a 4.3 times growth.'
Users often transfer money to gamers in form of donations as a payment for game streams. For the first five months of 2021, the turnover of such transfers in the YooStream platform equaled to more than 16 million rubles, which is 1.7 times more than in the same period last year. The number of transfers increased 1.7 times, too. The number of the very streamers accepting donations via YooStream increased by 30%. The amount of the average transfer has been quietly steady, equal to 328 rubles. With this in mind, streamers began earning more: the average turnover of one gamer increased by 33%, up to 10,367 rubles.
According to the CheckIndex analytical resource, the demand for game consoles has significantly increased during five months of this year. The sales in offline and online stores in kind (pcs) increased 5.5 times as compared to 2020 and 3.6 times as compared to 2019. This being said, the average spend increased 2.1 times, equal to 30,590 rubles, having exceeded the 2019 figure 2.6 times.
Gamers also actively bought handheld game consoles. The sales have increased by 31% in comparison with 2020, but the average spend has decreased by 12%, down to 10,630 rubles. As compared to 2019, 18% more consoles were bought, while the average spend has decreased by 22%.
The tendency of high sales has also been preserved for computer hardware. This year, the sales of video cards have increased by 37% as compared to 2020, and the average spend has increased by 123%, up to 39,070 rubles. These figures have increased by 44% and 114% respectively, as compared to 2019.
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Head of Digital, editor-in-chief of the RMAA Agency Blog