US gamers are turning to online in order to satiate their appetite as economic reality bites
ComScore, a specialist digital market research company, released an overview of the online gaming category among U.S. Internet users, which showed a significant increase in the size of its audience during the past year.
Its survey showed that patronage at online gaming sites was up 22 percent versus year ago, with EA online getting 18 million visitors, up 34 percent from last year. The biggest winner in purely percentage terms was GSN Games Networks, which grew 563 percent to 6 million visitors, due primarily to the additions of entities such as WorldWinner.com and CrazyMonkeyGames.com.
Yahoo! Games ranked Number 1 with 19.4 million visitors, representing a modest six percent increase over the past year, while Nickelodeon Casual Games with 14.8 million visitors, and WildTangent Network with 13.8 million (up 16 percent).
“Online gaming continues to be one of the top gaining categories over the past year 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.”
Distributed content platforms, including widgets and applications, can often reach audiences of a size comparable to online gaming destination sites. MochiMedia, for example, reached a combined audience of 16.9 million in May, greater than all but two sites in the online gaming category. Games2Win reached 1.8 million people, which compares favorably with the top twenty sites in the category, while Tetris Online reached 165,000 people.