THE BUZZ: Newzoo, a market research group that specializes in video games, released a report yesterday that Americans are spending 24% more money on the micro transactions of free-to-play (F2P) games this year than they did in 2010.

This number equates so far to a total of $4.9 billion dollars across the nation being poured into F2P games. The report also warns via a prediction for 2012 that a time for consolidation could be at hand due to the market being saturated with high quality F2P games and that some may fold up shop before even getting started.

EGM’S TAKE: This report comes hot on the heels of the news that World of Warcraft lost 800,000 subscriptions last quarter and really seems to be painting a clear trend in the MMO market in that gamers do not want monthly fees anymore. With such high quality MMOs like FireFall, WildStar, Auto-Club Revolution, and more coming out as F2P in the coming months, it should be interesting to see just how much consolidation happens as Newzoo predicts.

It is also interesting to note that DCU Online, City of Heroes, and the soon to be re-released All Points Bulletin, games that started as subscription based, have also all switched to F2P in order to survive. It makes you wonder about games like The Secret World that have announced subscription plans at launch and if they will be able to buck this trend. You would think though EA would have learned this lesson after APB tanked last year.

What do you guys think of F2P MMOs? Are you fans? Do you prefer subscription based MMOs? What do you think of the micro transaction business model? Let us know your thoughts with comments below!