Consumers Shift to Real World Cash for Virtual Purchases

August 4, 2011 -

According to a new study conducted by VGMarket and commissioned by Playspan, U.S. gamers have shifted from using credits earned from advertising offers to "real world" payments for digital goods using debit, credit and prepaid cards. The data comes from a survey compiled in July 2011 from over 1000 gamers drawn from a VGMarket database.

According to the study, nearly one-third (31 percent) of the gaming population has used real world money to purchase virtual content. Of those who use real world money, 57 percent said they make purchases of virtual items using real world money at least once every month. Console games account for the majority (51 percent) of virtual purchases using real world money, with social networking games (30 percent) and Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOs) coming in at second and third, respectively.

The survey found that 72 percent of respondents indicated that they expect to spend the same or more money on games in 2011 as they did in 2010. Around 67 percent of those who intended to spend more said they were playing more online games than last year, with 42 percent saying they have more money to spend. About 32 percent claimed ease of purchase as the main reason, while greater in-game rewards (30 percent) was the fourth most popular reason.

Around 48 percent of the gaming population said they have purchased in-game currency over the last 12 months, with maps and levels coming in second with 47 percent, and armor and equipment third at 29 percent.

Females were almost three times more likely than males to use Facebook credits to purchase virtual items or content and outspend males in virtual goods purchases in MMOs with an average spend of $111 vs. $74 (when purchasing directly from the game maker) and $86 vs. $77 (when purchasing from a third party source). With casual games, the differences were even greater, with women spending 40 percent more than men from 1st party publishers and more than three times as much from third-party publishers.

Based on Geographical location, consumers on the west coast ($36) spend approximately 60 percent more on weapons than the average east coast gamer ($22), with nearly identical results for armor and equipment ($36 vs. $21).

Cross-tabulations of the survey revealed significant purchasing differences between self-defined sports enthusiasts and readers. Sports types spent an average of $106 from first party and $132 on third party sites compared to readers, who averaged $65 and $49 respectively. Readers had a much higher spend on PC Games with Online Play, averaging $79 a year from first party sites and $69 from third party sites, whereas those who play sports average $60 and $46 in the genre.

Finally, the survey found that men prefer email, while women prefer Facebook. Men and women show pronounced differences in the type of communication they prefer for the promotion of a virtual currency item. Men (49 percent) are much more receptive than women (38 percent) to email communications, while women (31 percent) much prefer promotions on Facebook to men (18 percent).

To obtain the full survey, check out Playspan.com.


 
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PHX CorpI'm going to do a test stream later today, if anyone is intrested07/31/2014 - 2:40pm
Andrew EisenYes, I'm such a big Nintendo dork that I read Nintendo's quarterly financial reports.07/31/2014 - 2:09pm
Andrew EisenCool tidbit - Mario Kart 8 sales account for more than half of total Wii U software sales for the last quarter even though it was only available for the last third.07/31/2014 - 2:09pm
Andrew EisenStill a pretty cool promotion. Unfortunately for me, I'm not interested in purchasing Mario Kart 8 and I already owned or didn't want any of the free games on offer.07/31/2014 - 1:43pm
Andrew EisenInteresting that EU had 10 games to choose from while North America only had four.07/31/2014 - 1:41pm
MaskedPixelanteIt certainly worked, I probably would never have bought Mario Kart 8 if it didn't come with a free copy of Wind Waker HD.07/31/2014 - 1:14pm
Andrew EisenI imagine will see similar promotions like "Buy Mario Kart 8 get a download code for one of these specific games" but almost certainly not for all of its (however you would define) biggest releases.07/31/2014 - 11:24am
MaskedPixelanteI wonder if Nintendo is going to be doing "buy one get one free" promos for all their biggest releases going forward.07/31/2014 - 10:48am
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.mcvuk.com/news/read/special-report-retail-revolt-over-pc-code-strippers/013614007/31/2014 - 8:27am
ZippyDSMleeWouldn't they be able to afford and get done in a timely manner a general gba emluator for the 3DS? It seems to me if they want to make money off sales they need to do it.07/31/2014 - 7:25am
Sora-ChanAmbassador program, that's what I was looking for. Anyway the other games that have been made no longer exclusive to the early adopters got updates in their software. It'll only be a matter of time more than likely for the GBA to get the same treatment.07/31/2014 - 5:35am
Sora-ChanI might be naming it incorrectly when I say "founder" i mean the program for earlier adopters.07/31/2014 - 5:34am
Sora-Chanthe 3DS's GBA emulator was a rush job due to the founder program. No other GBA titles have been released on the 3DS yet. If/When they do get around to it, they'll more than likely update the emulation software.07/31/2014 - 5:32am
Zenemulator...it's not just a slap job that makes "some" work..they do it for each which is why they work so well. I would rather have the quality over just a slap job.07/30/2014 - 5:48pm
ZenMatthew there is a difference between "worked" and "accurate". You play the Nintendo VC titles they play as damn close to the original as possible. The PSP would just run them as best they could, issues and all. And Masked...EACH VC title has their own07/30/2014 - 5:48pm
MaskedPixelanteOnce again, the 3DS already HAS a GBA emulator, it just can't run at the same time as the 3DS OS.07/30/2014 - 4:54pm
Matthew Wilsonyou cant street pass in ds mode ether, and if moders can make a gba emulator that runs very well on the psp as I understand it. you are telling me that Nintendo devs are not as good as moders?07/30/2014 - 4:49pm
Zenperformance. Halo 1 and 2 worked great because they actually did custom work on each of them...just like Nintendo does now lol07/30/2014 - 4:08pm
Zenexisting hardware while the GBA has to be emulated completely. Same reason the 360 couldn't run most Original Xbox games correctly, or had issues because they just did "blanket approach" for their emulation which led to game killing bugs or horrible07/30/2014 - 4:07pm
ZenSora/Matthew: It's not just Miiverse, but the whole idea of streetpass and things like that would be affected if the OS is not running. And just because a 3DS game can be downloaded and run does not mean that GBA can as easily. Those 3DS games use the07/30/2014 - 4:06pm
 

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