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One thing all free-to-play games need is an item or resource that people will want to repeatedly pay money for, and digital card games have found that in their booster packs.

The people who spend money on digital card games spend around $90 per year, according to the gamer-polling company RapidPolls. If you include people who never spend any money, that average drops to a respectable $38.53. This shows the health and potential of this segment of free-to-play games. Digital card games like Hearthstone and Solforge have turned the card-based gaming market into a $1.2 billion business worldwide in 2014, and that’s expected to grow to $1.3 billion by the end of this year.

RapidPolls asked 400 collectible-card-game players about their habits, and it found that most of the spending comes from people who spend more than $250 and people who spend between $25 and $100 ever year.

“As is typical in free-to-play spending, the highest spending ‘whales’ account for most of the total revenue,” reads the RapidPolls report. “The top 12 percent of card pack purchasers — people who spent $250 or more per year — accounted for 50 percent of the total spending on digital card packs.”


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Whales only make up around 5 percent of the total number of CCG players. A larger group of around 20 percent of people spend between $25 to $100 and make up for around 30 percent of the spending.

The other two-thirds of collectible-card gamers spend less than $10, according to RapidPolls. And they represent only 2 percent of the spending.

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