SuperData Research, an analyst firm, released a report that predicts the prepaid game cards industry will generate $495 million a year by 2014. The report is an effort undertaken by the firm to analyze the prepaid game card market landscape and assess consumption patterns and behavior of digital consumers. Data analysis of over 250,000 prepaid card transactions suggests the growth to be explosive.
There are many reasons for this growth, ranging from consumers unwilling to use plastic (credit / debit cards), a rise in popularity of gaming, special benefits of prepaid cards, spontaneity and others. However the research group indicated the Credit Card Act of 2009, which changed the minimum age for credit card holders from 18 to 21 years old, as a primary driver of the prepaid card growth. Apparently consumers under 21 are eager to purchase virtual currency for popular online destinations and the prepaid card alternative seems to be very accessible to them.
The growth is stellar as the prepaid game cards sales had a 48 percent year-over-year increase in 2009. North Americans, especially, are prone to purchasing prepaid-cards at local convenience stores that are stacked on shelves next to the already popular gift cards. Some executives from the gaming industry predict consolidation in the prepaid card space because ‘shelf’ space is limited and destinations that use virtual currency greatly outnumber the number of prepaid cards available.
“Instead of using prepaid game cards as just another payment method, it presents a real monetization opportunity,” according to the report’s lead analyst Joost van Dreunen. “Understanding the industry’s incentive structure is critical.” We hope the prepaid card industry will proliferate and add value to the sustainability and growth of the enchanting gaming industry.