: One in Three Gamers Has Purchased Virtual Content with Real Money

Thursday, 4 August 2011, 15:08 | Category : MMO News
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In a new study conducted by PlaySpan and VG Market it was revealed that almost 1 out of 3 gamers (31%) have purchased virtual game content using real money. Consoles lead the way making up 51% of the total money spenton virtual content, followed by social networking games (Facebook, etc) with 30% and with MMO’s bringing in the rear.

Of those who purchased virtual content, 57% purchased items at least once per month.  72% stated they expect to spend the same or more than they did in 2010.

So what type of virtual contest are gamers buying?  In-game currency won with 48% of gamers saying they have bought in-game currency in the last year, followed closely by maps and levels which 47% of players have purchased in the last year.  Armor and gear came in third with 29% of players purchasing these types of virtual items in the last 12 months.

Women are three times more likely to spend money on Facebook credits to purchase in-game items and out-spend their male counterparts in MMO games $111 to $74, when they purchase directly from the game maker.  It becomes closer when the purchases are made from third-party sites, $86 to $77.

When looking at casual online games, the difference between men and women becomes even greater with women spending 40% more than males. Who knew trying to get your girlfriend or wife into video games meant  going broke?

Approximate real-world money that gamers spent on virtual currency, items, or content in each type of game (from first party publishers) in the last 12 months:

Game Type Males (Avg. per year) Females (Avg. per year)
MMOs $77 $86
Free-to-play games $62 $56
PC Games with Online Play $62 $80
Console Games with Online Play $60 $60
Social Networking Games $46 $54
Casual Games $36 $51

Approximate real-world money that gamers spent on virtual currency, items, or content in each type of game (from third-party websites) in the last 12 months:

Game Type Males (Avg. per year) Females (Avg. per year)
MMOs $74 $111
Free-to-play games $53 $24
PC Games with Online Play $47 $82
Console Games with Online Play $48 $52
Social Networking Games $39 $38
Casual Games $28 $62

It’s not just women that spend more on online games, western players (Asia) spend nearly 60% more than eastern players (EU, NA).

If you want the full report, head over to PlaySpan.com and fillout their form.

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