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US virtual goods market to reach $2.1bn next year

Up 40% from this year, though growth rate slowing, says survey

Revenues from the sale of virtual goods in America will increase by half a billion dollars next year, according to a new report by Inside Virtual Goods.

In-game items will have brought in $1.6 billion by the end of this year, the survey estimates, rising to $2.1 billion next year.

However, the growth rate is slightly slower than this year saw from last year's $1.1 billion.

"If 2010 was the year that virtual goods made a splash in western markets," report co-author and Inside Network boss Justin Smith told Venturebeat, "2011 will be the year that these markets begin to mature as the collective opportunity across social games, online games, virtual worlds, consoles, and mobile games reaches the $2 billion dollar mark."

The report does not cover the international market, with Asia in particular being a hot spot for virtual goods.

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Alec Meer: A 10-year veteran of scribbling about video games, Alec primarily writes for Rock, Paper, Shotgun, but given any opportunity he will escape his keyboard and mouse ghetto to write about any and all formats.