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Virtual goods disappear off virtual German shelves

Published by Steve Coleman on February 07, 2012

The German manufacturing industry is dipping into a whole new revenue source - virtual goods.

Sales of in-game items to online gamers was a large part of the 15 per cent increase in the 154 million euro first half of 2011 for online gaming companies, says the German Trade Association of Interactive Entertainment Software.

"The framework supporting social gaming has made Germany into a breeding ground for start-ups and content developers," said Julia Oentrich, gaming industry expert at Germany Trade & Invest in Berlin. "Broadband coverage is at 97 per cent and smartphone ownership jumped 50 per cent in one year. The solid infrastructure and growing market have made Germany a natural choice for gaming companies."

The flow of virtual goods paid for by the virtual money on credit cards is expected to double between 2010 and 2012, the industry says. More than 17 million Germans are social gamers, about one third of all Internet users in the country.

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