Video games have emerged as one of the fastest growing media industry markets within the Netherlands today with sales totaling more than $900 million.
This transformation may be due to the fact that the video game industry and their technology has been constantly evolving and upgrading with new devices such as tablets and smartphones being released for the casual gamer. The introduction of new business models, such as the dominant free-to-play model, have expanded boundaries to areas thought impossible to reach before by including casual online gamers which has helped familiarize the average user into the world of video games. With different models being released for different types of gamers, user segmentation and differentiation is key within the video game industry when trying to figure out which demographic to market towards as well as when the developer is choosing which area to target with which payment methods. For this blog entry, we will dive into which methods are key within the Netherlands to find success within their segmented video game industry.
PWC Study (Gaming in the Netherlands)
First off, in a study recently conducted by PWC, it was found that every third gamer had paid for virtual additional content in some form or another within a video game they played. Within the Netherlands, approximately 20% of gamers regularly pay for additional content. Around 35% of consumers have spent money on virtual goods at some time or another with younger users more willing to spend money on virtual goods than older users. Gender also plays a role for digital goods consumption as it was found that males have a greater willingness at 50% compared to female users at just 31%.
“New game experiences and enhanced enjoyment are the biggest motivating factors in purchases of virtual additional content.” (PWC)
iDEAL is a standardized payment method for making secure online payments directly between bank accounts in the Netherlands. This method of payment allows users to make purchases directly online using online transfers from their bank account. With over 142.5 million transfers processed in 2013, iDEAL is one of the largest and most popular methods of payments for virtual goods within the Netherlands. iDEAL boasts a full range of banks available with their service including ABN AMRO, ASN Bank, Friesland Bank, ING, Rabobank, SNS Bank, and so on. If the user does not want to be under iDEAL, anybody within the Netherlands can create a bank account under any of the example banks listed and use widely available services such as ATM’s, Debit and Credit cards, and money transfers from within their selected bank as well.
Minitix is an e-wallet only available for Dutch online shoppers which allows the users to make online/mobile purchases limited to 150 euros total. Minitix is mainly used for digital shopping as well as for in-app purchases. EgoPay e-wallet is another payment system available for the Dutch to shop online, purchase internet services, make subscriptions, make international money transfers, and purchase goods within games. Both Minitix as well as EgoPay help the user within the Netherlands make fast, secure, and convenient payments for digital goods which is ideal for the game developer to implement for their game.
Carrier Billing is a service which lets the user place the cost of their virtual purchase on their monthly phone bill. This essentially combines two or more virtual payments into a singular and easily manageable one bundle payment which helps the user keep track of their spendings conveniently.
Both debit and credit cards are very popular within the Netherlands as with most developed countries around the world. The Netherlands has most major providers including Visa, Mastercard, and AmEx as well as some exclusive ones such as SEPA which is solely based in Europe and is used to pay for goods and services using their European bank account tied with their credit card. SEPA also has the SEPA Direct Debit which acts as a debit card for the user with their specified bank.
A Final Look
The Netherlands is not much different from most developed countries within Europe in regards to the different types of payment services offered. Although there are a couple methods that are Netherlands specific, for the most part most methods are similar to that the rest of the developed world uses. The gaming industry as well as the virtual goods payment market are both evolving and developing at a high rate within the Netherlands so the game developer must act fast in order to create and sustain a presence within.