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BizReport : Trends & Ideas archives : March 30, 2010

Survey identifies new MMOG genre - MMOG Lite

Online gaming is gaining in popularity among demographics not normally associated with gamers leading to an expansion in the genre of MMOGs and a new audience, according to a new survey from DFC Intelligence and Live Gamer.

by Helen Leggatt

In their report, entitled "Consumer Trends in Virtual Goods and Downloadable Gaming in North America and Europe", DFC identified (video) a new genre of MMOG (Massively Multi-player Online Game) called "MMOG Lite".

Farm Ville.jpgGames such as Zynga's FarmVille and Combat arms fall into DFC's new genre. The games are still based on traditional MMOG elements such as a "persistent world", one which continues to exist and evolve after a player exits, and character development, but don't command the high costs of subscription that MMOGs such as World of Warcraft and Age of Conan currently do.

"MMOG Lite represents a broadening of demographics interested in gaming," said Live Gamer president and co-Founder Andrew Schneider. "In the traditional definition of MMOG, one might not include Club Penguin or FarmVille but the multiplayer genre has expanded, hence a new definition and a new audience which includes player who never self-identified themselves as gamers before."

These new games and their new audiences could push game monetization further towards the sale of virtual goods rather than a monthly subscription or one-time "off the shelf" price.

DFC's survey found that over half (60%) of respondents had purchased an in-game item. Some players purchase virtual goods that individualize their online gaming personas, others use cash to buy items or powers that bolster their game-play or to buy their fellow gamers virtual gifts.

Many go on to make repeat purchases. According to data recently released by Social Gold, over half (56%) of those who made payments for virtual goods via their platform went on to make a second purchase. Around a quarter went on to make more than 2 purchases.

These percentages demonstrate the increasing engagement levels in social gaming and how consumers obviously find the purchase of virtual goods worthwhile, compelling even.

Tags: massively multi-player online, MMOG, online games, social games

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