Tuesday, January 19, 2010

'Microtransactions' for virtual goods add up for free online games

By Mike Snider, USA TODAY
A few virtual weapons here, a few avatar outfits there, and pretty soon you're talking about real — not virtual — money. Having first appeared in free-to-play online games in China and Southeast Asia, virtual goods and game enhancements paid for in small purchases called microtransactions have become a billion-dollar boon for U.S. online game publishers. The newest game with microtransactions is War of Legends, from the makers of online hit RuneScape. But unlike RuneScape, which is free but has subscriptions (starting at $5.95 a month) that give players access to premium areas, War of Legends is a free game that lets players buy virtual goods and upgrades to enhance their experiences.http://www.usatoday.com/life/lifestyle/2010-01-19-games19_ST_N.htm

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