Thursday, November 10, 2011

Number of Gamers Doubles in Three Years Thanks to Casual Gaming on Tablets and Smartphones

Parks Associates reports U.S. gaming population increased from 56 to 135 million from 2008-2011

More U.S. consumers are playing videogames now than ever before, even as game consoles are losing their market dominance to online and mobile gaming solutions, according to international research firm Parks Associates.

The firm’s consumer data, featured in the new consumer research project Online Gaming and Digital Distribution, show the number of U.S. consumers who play at least one hour of videogames per month increased from 56 million in 2008 to 135 million in 2011. The majority of these new gamers are "casual gamers," in particular people who play games like FarmVille and Angry Birds on social networks and mobile devices.

This formidable growth comes thanks to increasing penetration of devices such as tablets and, to a lesser extent, smartphones. Three-fourths of U.S. tablet owners play games on the device, including 79% of teen tablet owners, and 57% of smartphone owners play games on it.

"The increase in the number of gamers is impressive because it crosses almost all demographics," said Pietro Macchiarella, Research Analyst, Parks Associates. "Most of this growth is due to increases in the casual gamer segments, with tablets and smartphones usurping PlayStation, Wii, and XBOX as popular gaming devices.”

Total Number of Gamers - Parks Associates research

Growth in traditionally "hardcore" gaming segments, such as MMORPG gamers, has stagnated for several years. Gaming is a social activity for casual gamers; however, most players prefer asynchronous multiplayer games as opposed to multiplayer games “where everyone plays at the same time.”

"These changes have significant implications for the gaming industry," Macchiarella said. "This new majority of casual gamers is looking for games with low entry barriers, with limited investments required in terms of dollars and time necessary to learn the game. In addition, the ubiquity of portable devices and Internet access allows more people to play on-the-go, putting pressure on the gaming industry to design games that can deliver a satisfactory experience within these specific conditions."

Macchiarella adds that the continuing adoption of tablets will attract even more gamers and also increase the average time gamers, and the U.S. population in general, spend gaming. Parks Associates will present consumer data and analysis on digital media and consumer use of tablets, smartphones, and connected CE at CONNECTIONS™ Summit at CES, January 10, 2012, at Las Vegas.

Online Gaming and Digital Distribution analyzes online gamers to provide consumer segmentation, discover how current gamers spend their time and money, and identify gaming solutions and services that will capture future spending. For more information, visit www.parksassociates.com or contact sales@parksassociates.com, 972-490-1113.

About Parks Associates: Parks Associates, a woman-owned and woman-led internationally recognized market research and consulting company, specializes in emerging technology solutions serving the consumer and small to medium business (SMB) markets. Celebrating its 35th year in 2021, Parks Associates is a partner to companies navigating the changing consumer technology landscapes through data-driven market insights, extensive consumer and industry intelligence, custom marketing services, and executive networking experiences and conferences.

The company's expertise includes home automation, control systems and security, digital media and platforms, entertainment and gaming, home networks, internet and video services, connected health and independent living solutions, mobile applications and services, support services, consumer electronics, and energy management solutions.

Each year, Parks Associates hosts industry webcasts, the CONNECTIONS™ Conference Series, Connected Health Summit, Smart Energy Summit: Engaging the Consumer, and Future of Video: OTT, Pay TV, and Digital Media. http://www.parksassociates.com

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