According to a recent research by Juniper Research, in 2022 the turnover of video game microtransactions, loot-boxes, and in-game purchases will generate revenues of $50 billion dollars, with a noticeable increase compared to 30 billion in 2017.
Lauren Foye, author of the research, comments on the data: “Skins are acquired both through playing video games and from opening purchased loot boxes. These items have value depending on rarity and popularity within game communities. On PCs, skins are traded for real money via Steam’s ‘Marketplace’; the platform has 125 million registered users globally.”
Steam seeks to dispel doubts and concerns about using skins as virtual currency to place bets. For years, third-party websites have allowed users to bet game skins to collect real money. It is worth noting that Steam derives money from transaction fees when its marketplace is used, which could be one of the reasons why this market still exists, even though it is not regulated.
The study on this video game analysis confirms that less than a regulation on skin trading and gambling, bets will exceed $1 billion (£705.085 million) worldwide as 11% of 11-16 years in the United Kingdom has placed bets with skins in 2017.
The Juniper analysis institute also recommends “regulation for skin trading and gambling, in an attempt to both prevent youth participation and remove malicious actors who run sites which steal skins or short-change users.”
Juniper also points out for a criticism of Valve: “The market for skins is huge, with over 6 billion items listed at once. Steam makes money from these transactions, hence the reluctance to shut the practice down.”
The market linked to skins, in-game purchases and microtransactions seem to be destined to grow, although some developers have decided to remove them from their games, as in the case of Middle-earth: Shadow of War, after carefully evaluating the feedbacks of the community.