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BizReport : Blogs & Content archives : July 15, 2009

Consumers want free entertainment

When it comes to passing time, more consumers are looking for a freebie. According to new data from metrics firm comScore online gaming - especially those games offered for free play - continue to see increasing numbers of consumers logging on. IN fact, in May the online gaming category jumped 22%.

by Kristina Knight

comscore.gifAccording to the report 87 million consumers logged on to play games in May 2009, a 22% increase year over year. Why are consumers logging on to play games? The most obvious factor pushing game play is the tough economic times. As consumers lose jobs or pinch pennies to make ends meet, they are looking for cheaper forms of entertainment than the traditional summer concerts, a trip to the mall or even a night at the movies.

The hottest gaming hub is Yahoo Games with 19.4 million visitors for the month of May, a 6% increase YoY. EA Online continues to be a hot property as well with 18 million visitors (34% increase). Nickelodeon Casual Games (14.8 million users), WildTangent Network (13.8 million visitors) and Disney games (12.1 million visitors) round out the top five. The biggest jump came from GSN Games Networks, which saw a 563% increase in traffic for the year.

"Online gaming. . .[is] growing at ten times the rate of the total U.S. Internet population and reaching nearly one out of every two Internet users," said Edward Hunter, comScore director of gaming solutions. "And the growth in the category is occurring not only at the top gaming destination sites, but also through viral distribution platforms, including widgets and applications. In fact, some online gaming companies that distributed their games across sites are reaching as many people as the top online gaming sites."

Tags: comScore Media Metrix, content, in-game advertising, online advertising, online content, online games, online gaming

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