An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt from Forbes: "Electronic Arts, one of the world's largest games publishers, on Monday partnered with microtransactions platform Live Gamer to bolster its online game efforts. ... THQ also announced a partnership with Live Gamer last week to facilitate microtransactions of its online PC and mobile games in North America. ... Worldwide sales of virtual items are expected to reach $7 billion by 2015, according to online games research firm DFC Intelligence. Fast-growing social games companies like Zynga, the maker of FarmVille, are leading the charge. The company is estimated to be pulling in around $600 million in revenue annually, largely from the sale of virtual goods. Americans are also growing comfortable with the microtransactions model. Game companies point to the music industry, where consumers buy 99-cent digital tracks instead of full albums on CDs."