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BizReport : Advertising : October 05, 2006

Study: Gamers Want Social Experience

Nielsen Entertainment has released the third annual Active Gamer Benchmark Study. One of the big surprises to this year’s survey is that more and more online gamers are looking for a social experience.

by Kristina Knight

According to Nielsen, there are nearly 117 million gamers in the US, of which about 56% play online. About 64% of these gamers are women. Thought of as a solitary experience in the past, the study this year found that Active Gamers are playing socially about 5 hours each week. Most of these gamers are teens.

At the same time, advertising within games is beginning to gain steam. One of the big campaigns is with Electronics Arts’ NBA Live ’07. For the Microsoft Xbox 360 and Sony PlayStation 3, gamers can unlock several cool items and game features from Adidas using codes from retail and online events. By integrating the Adidas and EA brands, the companies have created a kind of game within a game experience for players.

Studies are showing that gamers increasingly want real-world advertisers and brands in their games. In a Game Metrix study, comScore found that 37% of heavy gamers (those playing 16 hours/week) and 27% of medium gamers (those playing less than 11 hours/week) agreed that in-game ads add to the realism of games.

In-game advertising is expected to continue growing over the coming years as more consoles are built with online capabilities.

Tags: imbedded advertising, in-game advertising, online games

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