Extracted 01MAR2012 from http://venturebeat.com/2012/02/29/study-gamers-are-gaga-for-virtual-goods/
Consumer spending on virtual goods has doubled since 2009, according to a survey by Visa’s PlaySpan digital monetization division. And the total U.S. market value for virtual goods grew 28 percent to $2.3 billion in 2011.
PlaySpan and the survey firm Frank N. Magid Associates surveyed 600 people and found that gamers spend an average of $64 on virtual goods during the course of a year.
One in four consumers bought a virtual good in 2011, up 100 percent from 2009. Among U.S. gamers, 35 percent have purchased a virtual good, up 50 percent over 2010. U.S. male gamers were twice as likely as female gamers to buy virtual items such as better weapons or decorations in a game.
The reasons for buying goods include enhancement of, enjoyment of, and performance in the game experience. About 59 percent do it for a better experience and 49 percent to get to a higher level. About 35 percent do it to decorate themselves and 32 percent to improve their skills. About 27 percent do it to beat their friends, and 14 percent do it to show off a brand.
Among those who have not bought a virtual good, 70 percent show a willingness to do so.