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Study: Female Spend On Virtual Items, Currency Double That Of Men
Study: Female Spend On Virtual Items, Currency Double That Of Men
July 21, 2010 | By Chris Remo

July 21, 2010 | By Chris Remo
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More: Console/PC



On a per-capita basis among virtual goods buyers, women are spending nearly twice as much as men, according to a new study conducted by PlaySpan and VGMarket, even though more men are buying virtual goods overall.

The average female buyer spends fully twice the amount on in-game money as the average male buyer: $50 per year versus $25 per year. For virtual items, the gap was smaller, but still significant: $55 per year versus $30 per year, or 83 percent more for the average female.

Median values for the sexes were much closer. Median total spending among female players was $80 per year for females and $60 for men, meaning the above averages may be affected fairly heavily by the extremes on either end of the spending spectrum, which have a much smaller effect on median figures.

Despite the individual gender disparities, men may still be more likely overall to spend money on virtual goods. Of the 2221 surveyed individuals between the ages of 13 and 64, 78 percent were male, and 75 percent of the total sample said they had purchased virtual goods in the past year.

For the purposes of the study, virtual goods encompassed items, game content, and currency in social games, massively multiplayer games, and online PC and console games, including add-on levels and other DLC.

It is possible that women had a relatively low total representation in the survey as a whole because many respondents play online PC and console games that tend to be less played by female audiences; also, those games tend to feature infrequent opportunities to buy virtual goods, whereas social and MMO games -- which have higher female representation -- often offer ongoing paid content and options.


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Comments


Tony Dormanesh
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Virtual shoes to match their virtual hat. Haha, go women!

Michiel Hendriks
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Not much of a surprise if you ask me. Shopping for virtual items is still shopping. I'm guessing that in general men buy more larger and expesive virtual items than women. Although the total would still be less that the total virtual money spend buy men.

On a relates note, I'm sure women are much more active in the world/character customization features of a game than men. And this is a place where micropayments work well.

agostino priarolo
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I bought a few times some EVE online game time cards from Playspan. Usually their service worked with no problems.



But last week I ordered one card, I paid for it, then my order didn't appear as fulfilled and I didn't receive the card. Their customer support answered with a standard reply saying that they had no orders from me and to try again. I contacted UltimatePay, Playspan's payment service, and they told me a couple of times that they were working with Playspan to let them know that I actually paid for the service, but told me also that Playspan had problems with their cart and ordering system. So I paid for an item, I didn't receive it, and Playspan is doing nothing to refund or acknowledging that there is actually an issue with an order. I hope that I will not have to go through my bank and activate a Mastercard refund because it's really a tedious and time wasting task to do here.



The fact is that I'm ordering stuffs from the Internet since 1999, and this is the first time that I find such a bad ordering system and customer support. It's only $32 (only...) but you wouldn't expect such a lack of professionalism from that reknown company. Let's see if by writing here I'll be able to move something inside that company. If I was their CEO, I'll invest a couple of more dollars on customer support and tech personnel, instead of bragging about how much their selling to women etc (that is just a free ad), and study how to install a fail proof ordering system. It's not that something like that happens at Amazon, I think...

Daniel Hettrick
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Declaring (or at least implying) causality based upon weak correlation? Nah, that’s never happened in a study before. Why would Gamasutra bother reprinting such weak sauce, though?


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