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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MattsworknameEh, I love the new batmobile personally, it's a blast to mess aroudn with. Plus, the game is set in a situation that mroe or less leaves batman with no choice but to go full force. And even then, it still shows him doing all he can to limit casualties.07/01/2015 - 11:38pm
Andrew EisenAgreed. Luckily, we don't seem to be in danger of that of late. No one's suggesting, for example, that tanks shouldn't be in video games, only that the tank in Arkham Knight is poorly implemented and out of place from a characterization standpoint.07/01/2015 - 11:27pm
MattsworknameConfederate flag, Relgious organizations, etc etc. Andrew isnt[ wrong, just remember not to let that mentality lead to censorship.07/01/2015 - 11:20pm
Mattsworknamefind offensive or disturbing, and that mindset leads to censorship. It's all well and good to say "This would be better IF", just so long as we remember not to let it slide into "This is offensive, REMOVE IT". IE , the current issues surroundign the07/01/2015 - 11:19pm
MattsworknameAndrew and goth both have points, and to that point, I'll say. Saying somethign is improved by changing something isn't a problem, on that I agree with , but at the same time, on of the issues we have in our society is that we want to simply remove things07/01/2015 - 11:18pm
Andrew EisenSee? Suggestions for improvements that involve taking things away do not mean the work is garbage or performing poorly, critically or commercially.07/01/2015 - 9:29pm
Andrew EisenSkyward Sword is spiff-a-rific but it would be an improved experience if the game didn't explain what each item and rupee was every single time you picked them up!07/01/2015 - 9:27pm
Andrew EisenHere's another: De Blob is a ton of fun but it would be improved without motion controls. Incidentally, THQ heard our cries, removed motion controls for the sequel and it was a better game for it!07/01/2015 - 9:24pm
Andrew EisenI'll give you an example: Arkham Knight is a ton of fun but the tank sucks and the game would be even better without it.07/01/2015 - 9:23pm
Goth_SkunkWell clearly we're diametrically opposed about that.07/01/2015 - 9:03pm
Andrew EisenNot even remotely true.07/01/2015 - 8:59pm
Goth_SkunkIt is, if the suggestion involves taking something away from a product in order to make it better.07/01/2015 - 8:49pm
Andrew EisenOffering suggestions for improvement does not mean that the work in question is garbage or not doing fine.07/01/2015 - 8:21pm
Goth_SkunkIf their products were garbage, they wouldn't be as praiseworthy as they are.07/01/2015 - 8:08pm
Goth_SkunkAnd Andrew, I really don't think GRRM or the producers of the Game of Thrones TV show need anyone to tell them what to do to make their products better.They appear to be doing just fine on their own.07/01/2015 - 8:07pm
Goth_SkunkThe only thing not worth talking about, is what shouldn't be talked about.07/01/2015 - 7:47pm
Goth_Skunk@Infophile: It could be a reason, if I were wrong. I'm not.07/01/2015 - 7:44pm
PHX Corphttp://kotaku.com/steam-players-take-justice-into-their-own-hands-virtua-1715215648 anyone seen this, Steam Players Make Their Own Justice, Virtually Imprison Troll07/01/2015 - 7:17pm
Andrew EisenHeh, just had our (IGN's) journalistic integrity called into question over two typos on one of the Wikis (which are editable by the readers).07/01/2015 - 6:08pm
Matthew Wilson@tech this isnt the only stupid tax in recent months though. they were adding a commuter tax as well. if they continue doing crap like this, they will run in to the same issues as Detroit.07/01/2015 - 5:34pm
 

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