August 22, 2011 11:00 ET

Study Gamescom: European Market for Virtual Goods in Games is Growing Rapidly

-- Virtual goods market to triple in size across Europe to EUR1.9 billion by 2014

-- UK virtual goods expected to double to GBP180.5 million by 2014

-- UK has second largest virtual goods market in Europe

LONDON, ENGLAND--(Marketwire - Aug. 22, 2011) - The virtual goods market is expected to double in the UK, and triple across Europe, by 2014 according to the findings of a study* by the online payment service Skrill (Moneybookers), conducted by the research institute SuperData Research.

In 2010 the virtual goods market in the UK was worth £93.1 million and across Europe it amounted to £627 million. By 2014 this is forecast to increase to €180.5 million in the UK and triple across Europe as a whole to be worth £1.9 billion.

Currently the UK has the second highest sales of virtual goods in Europe, behind Germany. Based on the size of the market for virtual goods the top 10 countries in Europe are (in £ and € millions):

1. Germany £139.3 (€159.8)
2. Great Britain £93.1 (€106.8)
3. France £91.1 (€104.5)
4. Italy £53.0 (€60.8)
5. Russia £51.6 (€59.2)
6. Spain £48.2 (€55.3)
7. Turkey £30.2 (€34.6)
8. Netherlands £12.3 (€14.1)
9. Norway £97.1 (€11.1)
10. Belgium £93.5 (€10.7)

The study also determined the average transaction value per purchase for selected countries. In 2010 the UK had the sixth largest average transaction values in Europe at £19.34. December saw the highest transaction values in the UK at £21.00.

France has the highest average transaction values in Europe at £28.48, followed by Turkey (£27.03) and Spain (£26.68).

"As this study shows, as we move towards 2014 in-game purchases will rise sharply. The virtual goods market offers enormous potential for game providers who want to exploit it using virtual objects or clever game subscriptions, but how to monetize internationally is the challenge," explains Martin Ott, Co-CEO of Skrill Holdings.

"Skrill offers an online payment service that offers over 100 payment options in over 200 countries and territories."

For more information about Skrill Holdings please visit

Notes to Editors

*Estimates based on proprietary dataset of 1,416,706 unique transactions, in combination with statistics from the International Telecommunications Union, the World Bank and national sources.

Virtual items here defined as "in-game items or game-related services, such as a virtual currency or temporary subscription that enable or enhance game play." Numbers include PC (MMO, FPS, social) and console game platforms. Some countries excluded due to insufficient information. All numbers subject to change.

Prices quoted are based on Dollars converted in Pounds and Euros using the exchange rate as of 17 August 2011.

About Skrill

Skrill Holdings Ltd. operates, one of Europe's largest online payments systems and among the world's largest independent digital wallet providers with over nineteen million account holders. The digital wallet enables any customer to make online payments conveniently and securely without revealing personal financial data, as well as send and receive money online cost-effectively simply by using an email address. Moneybookers' worldwide payment network offers businesses access to direct payment processing via over 100 payment options in over 200 countries and territories through just one integration.

Founded in 2001, Moneybookers was the first e-money issuer to become authorised and regulated by the FSA. In 2007, Investcorp Technology Partners undertook the buyout of Moneybookers from its founders. Today more than 90,000 merchants are registered with, including global partners such as, Skype and Perfect World.

In February 2010 The Sunday Times Deloitte Buyout Track 100 league table ranked Moneybookers as the Number 1 fastest growing, private equity-backed firm in the UK based on profits.

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