Experts of the Russian gaming industry report that Russian gamers are less active in paying for virtual goods compared to their Western counterparts. Two of the biggest local social games developers, i-Jet Media and Progrestar, claim only 5-7% of all gamers buy virtual goods when playing. In comparison, about a third of gamers pay for virtual goods in Western countries (and about 60% of paying gamers buy goods at least once a month), according to the recent research by VGMarket.
Another big Russian game developer, Innova, noticed a further characteristic of Russian gamers: '...unlike gamers in the West, in Russia players want to pay for something that would improve their character's abilities, not change their appearances'. Though this is mostly true for massively multiplayer online role-playing games, not social games.
Another intriguing finding of VGMarket's research reports that women buy more virtual goods than men. For instance, they are three times more likely to use Facebook Credits to pay for extra features in games. It was also noted that Russian women shop online more often than men, though the latter buy more expensive goods.
It turns out that 70% of paid casual games are downloaded by women, says Tatyana Chernova, Stretegy Director at Alawar. 'According to the latest study we conducted in April 2011, an average download of paid casual games for PC is done by a married woman around 35 with higher education and a child.' A similar trend can be found in mobile and social apps.
Tatyana explains that unlike men, who like experimenting with all kinds of new games, women find it more important achieving success in a particular area. This means that women would spend more time and money playing one specific game, trying to reach their maximum level.
Alawar estimates Russian computer games market to be around $700 million. The global market is estimated to be worth $67 billion and is expected to grow up to $112 billion by 2015, according to Gartner.
Image by MyTudut