Consumers are choosing to move away from more traditional PC and console games in favour of playing games online, recent research has found.
The boom in social media platforms such as Facebook has provided online gaming fanatics with an opportunity to play against their friends and help create a generation of social gamers. With around 40% of gamers now choosing to play online, it is expected that if the current growth continues, the online gaming market will exceed the level of console spending by 2017.
The majority of online gamers are male, which is leading gaming companies to try new methods of attracting more women into playing such as adding more female characters. The likes of World of Warcraft, Thor and the Activision Blizzard (ATVI) online games are all thought to be changing characters and storylines to suit a more feminine audience.
A study has also found that 78% of the audience for first-person shooting games are male, whilst action games are also dominated by men, with an 80% share of the market. It is clear that males occupy a large proportion of the gaming world, making it vital for the industry to reach out and attract new consumers if the market is to continue to grow.
Europe currently has the largest gaming market, with Germany generating the highest game revenue at €2.7 billion in 2013. Brazil has the strongest online gaming industry in South America and the market is expected to grow 20% within the next few years. With a population of over 1.3 billion, the social gaming industry in China is already huge and the market looks set to develop further in coming years.
The increased popularity in online gaming has become a great advantage for the gambling industry, enabling it to grow into a multi-billion dollar business and meaning that online players can enjoy social gaming with their friends whilst possibly winning cash at the same time.
David Williams, Head of Consumer PR at Ladbrokes Casino stated “The rate at which social gaming is growing is undoubtedly one of the most exciting developments on our landscape. The history books are littered with concepts that have withered quickly on the vine but there’s no doubt in our minds that this is an area set to explode. Being in the right place at the right time to influence consumer behaviour and offer discerning customers precisely what they want – and more – will be key to leveraging the cash benefits of social gaming for big firms.”
With the online gaming industry growing with each passing year, new market approaches are being taken into consideration, enabling the industry to be open to a larger demographic of gamers. By catering their businesses towards online games and interesting users in the future, they hope to create a greater social gaming experience.