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PlaySpan finds that 64% of their customers buy virtual goods every month; 9% every day – Report

By on September 29, 2010

PlaySpan released its regular survey on spending on virtual goods a couple of months ago. I have only just got round to looking through and thinking about the results.

PlaySpan logo

It’s worth declaring the survey’s innate skew upfront. It was distributed to “a sample of 2,221 PlaySpan Marketplace, Facebook via Spare Change, and Ultimate Game Card gamers”

In other words, to people who spend money on virtual items that are customers of PlaySpan, which means it is likely to under-represent console owners.

Nevertheless, the report makes illuminating reading. For example:

  • North American women over 25 are spending the most on virtual goods
  • The median spend on virtual goods in social games is $50, 2.5x the median amount spend on virtual goods in console games ($20)
  • Compared to the survey results last year, purchase behaviour seems to be switching to virtual goods that offer a competitive advantage in the game (Weapons, Power-Ups) rather than ones that confer status (Wearables, Virtual Gifts)

    PlaySpan Report September 2009

    Most popular digital goods purchased

    PlaySpan Report June 2010


  • 9% of users buy virtual goods every day, 27% ever week; 64% every month.

I’ve put the full report up on the GAMESbrief Resources page, if you want to find it again in the future.

About Nicholas Lovell

Nicholas is the founder of Gamesbrief, a blog dedicated to the business of games. It aims to be informative, authoritative and above all helpful to developers grappling with business strategy. He is the author of a growing list of books about making money in the games industry and other digital media, including How to Publish a Game and Design Rules for Free-to-Play Games, and Penguin-published title The Curve: