In the social gaming world, a “whale” is someone who spends a lot of real money to purchase virtual goods. We already know just how quick many people are to hand over their credit cards in the quest for goods on their favorite games. It was interesting to learn just how much people are spending.
Less than ten percent of all social gamers ever spend a single penny while farming their crops or completing tasks for the mob bosses. Whales are the group of users who spend a minimum of $1000 on such frivolities. InsideSocialGames asked social payment platform Social Gold just how much people are spending. The results shocked me.
The top five social spenders are a sight to behold. The top spender comes from Saudi Arabia, and has handed over more than $25,000.00! The second and fourth place spenders hail from here in the United States. Those two people have shelled out just over $33k between them. That is more money than many people in this country even make in an entire year… money that’s literally just being thrown away. What makes these numbers even more shocking is not that they were spent on intangible things in a virtual world. What’s astounding is that these figures were compiled after only six months of tracking. That cash was blown in only half of one year.
“The same features of social games that are designed to nudge non-spenders into shelling out a few dollars will also inevitably encourage people with large bank accounts to pour ever more money into their hobbies, even if social game companies don’t encourage extreme spending.”
Perhaps I just don’t “get it.” Maybe I’m too old-school in my thinking. I just honestly don’t understand the point of spending that kind of money to “buy” the hottest new item for a virtual world or character that I will never actually hold in my hands. I’m sorry… if I’m shelling out that kind of cold, hard cash – there better be something shiny and new sitting in my driveway to show for it.