With games that include Farmville, Frontierville and Mafia Wars attracting million of users, while creating billions of dollars in revenue, it doesn’t really surprise me that the social gaming industry is huge, but what some readers may not realize is exactly how big the industry has become. How big is social gaming? 56 million strong int the U.S. and growing daily.
Market research company NPD Group recently discovered that approximately one in five Americans from the ages of six and upwards now participate in some type of online social gaming platform.
As Mashable points out, the move towards social gaming is a blessing for social networks such as Facebook who no longer must rely solely on advertising dollars to earn revenue, instead taking a part of third-party application sales. For example, Facebook takes 30% of all money spent on Facebook credits.
That same NPD study reveals that 10% of those who responded said they have paid for online gaming, that’s approximately 5.6 million users, with another 11% stating that they would probably pay for the experience in the future. Take into consideration the number of users who make multiple purchases on a monthly, weekly or even daily basis and social gaming companies and the networks they run on are seeing a revolving door of revenue intake.
Revenue possibilites don’t only look good, they look amazing, in 2009 social gamers spent $2.2 billion on virtual goods, with $6 billion expected by 2013.
Another positive aspect of the social gaming boom comes in the form of demographics with older users and females outnumbering younger males, a fact that opens up the gaming market to more users and specifically the under served female gaming market. The NPD survey also shows that 35% of social gamers have never played arcade or console based games.
So what are your thoughts about the meteoric rise in social gaming? Can these companies with their often simple graphics and pay to play systems continue to thrive and grow at the rates they’ve been experiencing? Or is it all a passing fad?