The recent GTA V Casino update has caused in-game player spending to skyrocket.
Introduced in the game’s Diamond Casino & Resort update, players are now able to gamble within the title’s in-game casino. While the addition isn’t available in every country, it’s addition did add literal gambling to the video game.
Players are not able to directly purchase in-game casino chips with real-world money. However, players can purchase the in-game currency to convert into the game’s casino chips.
Since players can’t convert their winnings back into real-world money — as if a AAA company would ever let someone do that — the mechanics don’t technically count as gambling.
In a Take-Two conference call (thanks, Gematsu!), the parent company explained that player spending had increased by 23% after the introduction of the GTA V Casino update.
Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick described the July update as being the game’s largest DLC launch yet. Zelnick stated that the casino was ““delivering record player engagement across daily, weekly, and monthly active users in July, and then again in August.”
As a whole, 2019 has seen a huge increase in recurrent consumer spending over 2018. The company’s expectations for 2019 revenue has been “significantly exceeded” with microtransaction purchases across NBA, GTA and Red Dead Redemption 2 Online. Gamasutra estimates this as a “$317.4 million in revenue” for microtransactions alpine.