One in four social gamers have bought items


Have you ever bought a social game's in-game item with real money? graph of japanese statisticsWith a lot of money to be made these days in producing casual games, both single player and multiplayer online, this survey from goo Research and reported on by into social gaming was quite an eye-opener for me.


Between the 16th and 20th of January 2012 1,077 members of the goo Research online monitor group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 53.6% of the sample were male, 16.6% in their teens, 18.0% in their twenties, 21.3% in their thirties, 16.1% in their forties, 15.9% in their fifties, and 12.2% aged sixty or older.

I play a couple of social games, but have never spent any money on them. On the other hand, my wife plays a few and although she doesn’t actually spend money as such, she earns points from various survey sites that can be transfered to partner social games.

There’s two social games being heavily advertised on television and in trains right now by major pop groups; first is EXILE doing Holy War Cerberus for GREE, then there’s TOKIO doing Doliland, also for GREE.

This one is apparently doing 2 billion yen a month (just under 20 million euro!) in in-game sales so they can afford to splash out.

Research results

First of all, 58.0% of the sample were registered on an SNS, and of that 625, 42.1% had played a social game within the last year, or in other words 24.4% of the whole sample.

These 263 social gamers were asked the following.

Q1A: Have you ever bought a social game’s in-game item with real money? (Sample size=263)

Don’t know what a game item is1.5%

Putting the three answers together, we get this:

Q1B: Have you ever bought a social game’s in-game item with real money? (Sample size=1,077)

Don’t know what a game item is0.4%
Not played one (recently)33.6%
Not registered with an SNS42.0%
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