Prepaid Game Cards to reach $495MM by 2014E

New York – For online entertainment, prepaid game cards are maturing and have become a leading alternative payment method, says SuperData Research.

In its Prepaid Game Card Primer, SuperData maps out the current market landscape and assesses the buying behavior of digital consumers. According to lead analyst Joost van Dreunen, “offering customers the right mix of payment methods directly affects the bottom line for digitally distributed entertainment.” The recent launch of a prepaid card by Zynga and a similar announcement by Facebook underwrite the monetization potential.

The study builds on over 250,000 prepaid card transactions collected from 15 online entertainment publishers, including virtual worlds, MMOs and social networking games, as well as a custom panel of 3,152 respondents.

Among the key drivers for prepaid game card adoption, SuperData points to the recent 2009 Credit Card Act, which limits access to credit cards by changing the minimum age for card holders from 18 to 21 years old. The growth of prepaid game cards has been nothing short of explosive, growing 48% YoY in 2009, according to the study. Many North-American consumers are already familiar with retail-based cards, as it dovetails with the estimated $100 billion annually gift card market. SuperData’s study further indicates that both consumers and game publishers appreciate the transparency and safety prepaid game cards offer, avoiding hidden fees and charge backs.

“Instead of using prepaid game cards as just another payment method, it presents a real monetization opportunity,” according to van Dreunen, but “understanding the industry’s incentive structure is critical.”

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