Spent a few dollars on adding a costume to your avatar, power-ups that help level your character up in a game? Well, you're not alone. According to a new report, released this week by Inside Virtual Goods, the businesses behind those little purchases is predicted to top $1 billion in revenues in 2009.
A big chunk of that revenue comes from the advent of social networks like Facebook, which have allowed casual game companies like Zynga, Playdom and Playfish to create free games that users can enhance by purchasing in-game goods for real-world money. Each of the three companies, expected to make between $50 to $100 million each in 2009, continue to grow in leaps and bounds. For instance, the meteoric rise of Zynga's Café World went from zero to 10 million players in a week. With several games of that magnitude, games might make up a bigger portion of the 2010 prediction of $1.6 billion.
Which makes us wonder, if new companies can make up to $1 billion during a global recession, just imagine how much they'll make when it ends.
Sources: [Venture Beat] [Inside Virtual Goods]