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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : July 22, 2010

Women love to shop, even for virtual goods

We all know women love to shop but did you know that female online gamers also go on spending sprees - for virtual goods? According to a new survey from market research firm VGMarket and virtual currency company PlaySpan, female online game players spend more on virtual goods than their male counterparts.

by Helen Leggatt

logo_playspan.jpgEven though more men are buying virtual goods overall, women are spending nearly twice as much as men on a per-capita basis, found VGMarket, a research firm specializing in the video game industry. North American women over the age of 25 were found to spend the most money on digital goods.

On social networks, the average female spent $55 on virtual goods, compared to $30 for males; females also spent twice as much ($50 vs. $25) as males on in-game currency, while the median overall expenditure was $80 for females, compared with $60 for males, according to the report.

The survey, conducted in July this year, revealed that three-quarters of the 2,221 respondents had used real-world money to pay for virtual goods, and that around 50% expect to continue to spend about the same amount over the next 12 months.

Over the past year, respondents spent more on digital goods in social networking games, such as FarmVille and Mafia Wars, than in any other game genre. The most popular types of virtual goods purchased are in-game currencies, virtual gifts and "wearables".

Later this year Facebook will launch a virtual currency that will make it even easier for users to purchase virtual, and eventually physical, goods. Called "Facebook Credits", the system is currently in a test phase.

Tags: online games, online money, social games, virtual currency, virtual goods

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