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10 Aug

The reality of virtual goods

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Paying real money to buy imaginary things may sound crazy, but Zynga-a company that sells such imaginary things made millions in 2010 and filed for an IPO last year.

Unlike other games, that make you pay upfront, social or mobile games like Farmville and Sims Social make money on a model that’s based on play-for-free, get hooked and pay to get ahead.

What do you buy? As in Farmville, you buy fake currency that you can then use to buy an imaginary tractor to get a good harvest and get ahead of your friends. Or buy an imaginary sword to take on the enemy in the warcraft game and get ahead. Who’s buying these goods? Gamers are the biggest market for what we have really started associating virtual goods with.

The overall market for virtual goods in the US is headed towards $2.9 billion for 2012, according to the Inside Virtual Goods report.

Online gamers are a group that are highly engaged and passionate about their game. Didn’t we hear a celebrity being thrown out of a plane for refusing to shut down his “Words with friends”? What appears as pure waste of money to some, for gamers, these goods are very “real”. What they are really buying is an enhanced gaming experience.

The adrenaline rush that they get when a newly bought “sword” demolishes the bad guys and opens the door to the next level is, for that gamer, definitely worth $20.

Are you an online, social gamer? What’s your experience with virtual goods?

Share with us in the comments section.

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Read 1808 times Last modified on Friday, 23 November 2012 18:25
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