Money Talks: PayPal Users Splurge on Online, Social Games

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More than 12 million PayPal users spend money on virtual goods, online games and social games for Facebook each month, according to the online payment service.

Per a report published on VentureBeat, the top games that PayPal customers prefer include World of Warcraft, Final Fantasy, Bejeweled and FarmVille.

Based on the company’s findings, over 40% of adults play online games, and 70% of all gamers are PayPal customers. Total revenue from virtual goods in America is pegged to hit $2.1 billion this year, according to Inside Network.

“In massively multiplayer online (MMO) games, the number of paying gamers keeps going up,” explains Carey Kolaja, senior director of emerging opportunities at PayPal. “The perception about digital goods is that they lead to micro transactions, which are small. But the average purchase for a paying user is in the mid-20s (in dollars). It is on a positive trajectory.”

PayPal’s data shows that just 19% of purchases of virtual currency in MMOs come in at under $10, with 54% made to the tune of $10 to $50. Strikingly, roughly 27% of shoppers spend even more purchasing games’ simulated wares.

By comparison, only 9% of social games players spend upwards of $50 on their favorite digital diversions, with 33% making purchases under $10 and 58% buying in the $10 to $50 range.

As “casual web site games” fans go, nearly a third (29%) spend under $10 in purchases, while roughly half (49%) spend $10 to $50 and just 22% spring for $50 or more in digital plunder.

PayPal also says that MMO enthusiasts play for 22 hours a week, and that 40% play daily, as opposed to social gamers, who play for only 16 hours a week, with 56% playing every day. Casual gamers apparently feel the urge to hoist a keyboard or joystick even less, averaging 8 hours a week of play, as just 34% clock in time with electronic amusements daily.

Notably, the company further points out that around 77 percent of MMO gamers are male, while 59 percent of casual and social gamers are female.

Based on purchasing habits, all apparently have cash to burn.

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