The WSJ had an article on Friday about Nexon and the virtual goods model. Not new news to most readers of this blog but some good information nuggests in the article:
Prepaid cards used to buy Nexon game items are now the second best-selling entertainment gift card at Target Corp. stores in the U.S., after cards for Apple Inc.’s iTunes Store, Target says…
Nexon’s biggest hit in the U.S. so far is MapleStory, an online role-playing game popular with teenagers in which players assume the identities of warriors, magicians and thieves and collectively fight monsters. The game has 85 million users globally, of which 5.9 million are registered in the U.S. Last year players world-wide bought more than 1.3 million articles of clothing and more than one million hair makeovers for their MapleStory characters. Nexon’s U.S. revenue last year more than tripled to $29.3 million from $8.5 million the prior year.
With $30m in US sales and 6m US registered users, assuming a 20% “active player” rate and 10% “buyer rate”, that implies an ARPU of $20/mth which sounds about right and is consistent with number we’ve seen from games in Asia. It sounds like the US will be following very similar models of virtual goods monetization that we’ve seen in Asia.