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The makers of "Farmville" & Friends cash in: 32% of German social gamers buy virtual goods

The social games industry rubs its hands: According to the "Social Games Monitor 2010"The Dutch consulting firm Newzoo BV invests almost every third German social player money in virtual goods. There are 17 million German players - 30% of all Internet users surveyed aged 10 and over, or almost 60% of all Germans who have an account in a social network to have.

The penetration rate is higher abroad: According to the study, 35% of all internet users play in France, and 42% in Great Britain. Newzoo surveyed 10,000 internet users.

29% of all social players in Germany are playing FacebookElsewhere, the industry leader lacks competition: In the UK, for example, 61% of social gamers use Facebook, although the once popular one takes hold there Bebo just one (AOL sold it) and MySpacerecently lost almost half of all users on the island within a year.

According to the survey, fewer players in Great Britain invest their money in virtual goods than in Germany - which leads the field here with 32%. In the Netherlands it is only 12% of all social gamers. While men and women gamble equally eagerly, they differ in terms of willingness to pay. Of the paying players, 62% are male in this country. Alex Agostini, at the social game builder 6Waves responsible for business development, foresees a change for his industry: There will be "a reorientation from explosive growth to the search for more efficiency in monetization".

This obviously also affects the choice of means of payment. Facebook is slowly but surely pushing its virtual currency Facebook credits by: After the social games draft horse Zynga("Farmville") and Crowd star ("Happy aquarium") recently also has the games forge RockYou ("Zoo World") signed an exclusive deal with Facebook; it will run for five years. Up until now, the company had its own currency in the game; Currency. 30% goes to Facebook, the rest is kept by RockYou. RockYou wants to keep the right to their own currency in the backhand, you never know.

In the beginning, the industry turned up its nose because Facebook is taking a lot of money with a 30% share. Zynga even threatened to leave, and an agreement was reached later (kress.de, May 19, 2010). Crowdstar, also tied for years, thinks the credits are great: The currency creates trust, and per user, sales with virtual goods have increased by an average of half. Many third-party developers remain skeptical.

Incidentally, Facebook justifies its share with high infrastructure costs and administrative effort. Is also popular PayPal (eBay) or credit card, next to the Google-Payment system Check outthat does not really want to prevail. This is one of the reasons why Google is now working on its own social games platform (kress.de, July 12, 2010).