The market for virtual goods in Europe is expected to triple to £1.9 billion by 2014, according to research by online payments company Skrill.
The UK, which already ranks as the second largest market in Europe for virtual goods, is expected to double by 2014 to £180.5 million, from £93.1 million in 2010.
According to the research, the top ten markets in Europe during 2010 were:
- 01 Germany £139.3 (€159.8)
- 02 Great Britain £93.1 (€106.8)
- 03 France £91.1 (€104.5)
- 04 Italy £53.0 (€60.8)
- 05 Russia £51.6 (€59.2)
- 06 Spain £48.2 (€55.3)
- 07 Turkey £30.2 (€34.6)
- 08 Netherlands £12.3 (€14.1)
- 09 Norway £97.1 (€11.1)
- 10 Belgium £93.5 (€10.7)
France saw the highest average spend on virtual goods in 2010, with £28.48, followed by Turkey with £27.03 and Spain on £26.68. The UK was sixth on the list with £19.34 spent on average.
"As this study shows, as we move towards 2014 in-game purchases will rise sharply," offered Martin Ott, co-CEO of Skrill.
"Despite the economic crisis the virtual goods market offers enormous potential for game providers. Especially for those who want to exploit it using virtual objects or clever game subscriptions."
Skrill's data was compiled by analysing a database of over 1.4 million unique transactions, in combination of statistics from the International Telecommunications Union and the World Bank. The study includes in-game transactions, virtual currency, temporary subscriptions and game related services across PC, MMO, social and console formats.