Revenues from mobile game virtual goods will hit $500M this year

Revenues from virtual goods sold in mobile games are growing at an incredible rate. According to a new report from Inside Network, a division of WebMediaBrands, U.S. revenues in this sector will hit $500 million in 2012, up from $350 million in 2011.

Click here for details on the report.

Inside Network surveyed nearly 3,000 players of social games on Facebook, iOS, and Android from around the world and across the demographic spectrum to evaluate spending and usage patterns of the social and mobile gaming markets.

The report attributes much of the growth in virtual good revenues to the growth of free-to-play mobile games, in which users play for free but pay real money for virtual goods. The firm compares the mobile social game virtual good market projections to the social game virtual good market on Facebook, which it projects will reach $2.9 billion in 2012.

"That means that mobile is catching up at a pretty good clip and it explains why so many startups are diving into mobile games," Justin Smith, founder of Inside Network, said in an interview with VentureBeat.

The firm said that online Facebook users are more familiar with Facebook Credits, with 63 percent of those respondents aware of that payment mechanism. Just 33 percent of the mobile respondents knew about Facebook Credits. 

For more:
- read this release 

Related articles:
How do you measure the success of an app? Customer engagement is key
Report: Amazon testing in-app purchases on Kindle Fire
How free apps are sucking the life out of smartphones
How Google is holding back in-app revenue growth