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U.S. Virtual Goods Market To Hit $2.9 Billion Next Year
Who would have thought that Facebook opening up its developer platform in 2007 would 5 years later create a lucrative industry worth over $2.9 billion?
That is certainly what is set to happen with news that the virtual goods market is about to explode in the coming year and beyond. Driving this growth is the rise and rose of social gaming on platforms like Facebook and the growth of mobile use on a whole. Today, games like Farmville and other Zynga-spinoffs have created virtual worlds, with virtual goods and money. These virtual pieces have blossomed into a market in its own right and people are able to cash out into the real world, making social gaming and virtual goods etc. a genuine growth market.
The $2.9 billion trajectory was based on the ‘Inside Virtual Goods’ report compiled by Facebook trend watcher, InsideFacebook.com. The report showed that growth in in the market has risen consistently since 2010.
In 2010 the virtual goods market was worth just over $1.6 billion; by 2011, this figure had climbed to $2.2 million with a projected growth as mentioned before of $2.9 billion. Facebook as the main engine for this growth accounts for more than half the share of the market in terms of virtual goods concentration (around $1.6 billion for 2011). This share is expected to grow even more in 2012. Throw in the mix, the predicted growth of mobile gaming and hence mobile social gaming and the actual growth figures for virtual goods become even more mind boggling.
Will things taper off? It’s likely, but not before this market has fully matured and gone through the huge online and gaming changes coming in the next few years.