"Summary of key findings
According to the study, nearly one-third (31 percent) of the general gamer population
has used real world money to purchase virtual content. Of those gamers who use real
world money, 57 percent said they make purchases of virtual items using real world
money at least once every month. Console games with online play account for the
majority (51 percent) of virtual purchases using real world money, with social
networking games (30 percent) and Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOs)
coming in at second and third respectively.
Overall, 72 percent of respondents indicated they expect to spend the same or more
money on games in 2011 as they did in 2010. 67 percent of those who intend to spend
more said they were playing more online games than last year, with 42 percent saying
they have more money to spend. 32 percent claimed ease of purchase as the main
reason, while greater in-game rewards (30 percent) were the fourth most popular
48 percent of the general gamer population said they have purchased in-game currencyAnd yes, there are gender differences in the study.
over the last 12 months, with maps and levels (aids and extensions of games) coming in
at second with 47 percent, and armor and equipment third at 29 percent."