The video game industry remains among the fastest growing economic sectors in the world and Ukrainian companies are very much part of this process. According to research firm NewZoo, the global games market is going to make around USD 135 billion in revenue in 2018, which is almost twice as much as in 2012. Forecasts continue to predict double-digit annual growth for years to come. Companies with Ukrainian roots or offices in Ukraine have had a fair share of success in the global gaming industry, contributing to its fast-paced development with a vast variety of games ranging from mobile titles to top-tier PC and console franchises such as Metro by 4A Games or S.T.A.L.K.E.R. by GSC Game World.
Virtual Items, Real Value
As to in-game items monetization technology and service, DMarket offers the gaming community an online platform where gamers can trade in-game items among themselves while developers gain revenue from every transaction fee. Someone who is not really into gaming might look down on such trading, assuming it is just another way for immature gamers to waste their time while not really generating serious revenues. However, such thinking is hard to justify when confronted by the relevant figures. Early this year, a virtual rifle from a game called Counter-Strike: Global Offensive sold for record high price of USD 61,000. To be more exact, this was a so-called skin for a rifle, a graphics file that changes the rifle’s appearance without changing its gameplay parameters.
This trade alone is a good reason to take the market for virtual goods more seriously. The sums involved can often be mindboggling. Total annual turnover in this fledgling industry is currently several billion dollars or even dozens of billions according to different sources. Most of those billions are circulating around a few games and many of the featured titles belong to a single developer. The in-game trading industry presently covers roughly 6% of the global gaming audience of 2.4 billion people. The overwhelming majority of gamers have no opportunity to resell assets earned or purchased in their favorite titles. This is where the creators of the company saw a window of opportunity.