Let’s be completely honest here; now worth over $165 billion, the gaming industry isn’t exactly in need of a champion that will transform its fortunes.
Video games today are a big business. Gaming is a lucrative, global industry that has had a massive and lasting impact on popular culture. It’s now the world’s favorite at-home entertainment activity – beating out television, home movies, and music – and sustains an eco-system that encompasses everything from the indie app developer to the world-famous eSports league.
However, when something comes along that holds the power to take this thriving international market to the next level, the key players involved will naturally sit up and take note.
And here in his brand new decade, that something happens to be Fintech.
From Strength to Strength
Fintech is, in short, technology that seeks to improve and automate financial transactions. From digital wallets to mobile payments and cryptocurrencies, the application of fintech is vast and performs a broad range of functions. It’s still an emerging industry, but it’s one that has found a natural home in the world of gaming and could very well take it from strength to strength over the next few years.
By 2026, the global gaming industry is predicted to grow to as much as $287.1 billion, largely down to the development, popularity and accessibility of games themselves. But integral to many of these games and gaming services will be fintech – technology that powers everything from in-app microtransactions to annual subscription services a la Steam Wallet and Xbox Game Pass.
The Millennial Effect
By 2023, there will be over three billion active gamers in the world and a large percentage of that group will comprise of Millennials and Gen Z “Zoomers”. This particular group of consumers is unique among demographics, being the only online-first generation to currently exist.
Anyone born from the 1980s in developed markets is well-versed in digital payments and transactions, and those participating in gaming experiences will be looking for brands and services that align with their expectations.
According to Fortune, 87% of Gen Z and 83% of Millennials are playing video games across all platforms (mobile, PC and console) on a weekly, if not daily basis. They represent a massive percentage of the total gaming audience. Should operators in the game space refuse to engage with their needs and expectations from the industry, they do so to their own detriment.
Fintech and iGaming
Fintech’s impact goes far beyond the video and mobile gaming markets, however. In the realm of online casinos PayPal is gradually becoming a viable payment method accepted by more and more market leaders, alongside eWallet services like Neteller and Skrill.
While mobile casino platforms, for example, are more likely to list PayPal as an accepted withdrawal and deposit method than some of the older PC gaming platforms, established brands are realizing the inherent benefits of integrating fintech. As established above, the ability to make digital payments is something most millennial and Gen-Y gamers will look for when signing up for a gaming service, plus the added security associated with eWallets makes them accessible and friendly to first-time iGamers.