Virtual goods purchases vary by ethnicity

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White and black mobile social gamers spend more on virtual goods purchases than Hispanics spend less, according to a survey by mobile gaming firm MocoSpace.

The survey shows that consumer markets vary in their spending habits when it comes to mobile social games. And sometimes there’s no particularly good explanation for it. Virtual goods are items such as weapons that users can pay for with real money in mobile social games.

The survey of 40,000 gamers showed that whites, who were 18 percent of surveyed users, accounted for 26 percent of virtual goods purchases. African Americans, who were 36 percent of respondents, made up 38 percent of purchases. By comparison, Hispanics were 31 percent of respondents and only 21 percent of the purchasers.

Asian Americans, Native Americans and Pacific Islanders spent about their fair share. Each group accounted for 4 percent of the respondents and 4 percent of the purchases. Justin Siegel, chief executive of MocoSpace, said that virtual goods are so mainstream now that it makes sense to start segmenting it and better understanding usage patterns based on ethnicity and gender. A previous survey showed that men outspend women 9 to 1 on mobile virtual goods.

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