Guest post by Edward Simpson.
Over the past five years, the market for social games has grown significantly. Social games take place on social networks such as Facebook, as well as on iOS’s native Game Centre system. Social gaming involves gaming where you are connected to a network of many other players. This sector has grown to prominence so quickly because of the improved experience enjoyed by playing games against other real players, as opposed to a computer enemy. Playing against real people is much more engaging and allows players to communicate while playing. It is estimated that the industry will reach 50% of all social network users (as well as 34% of the entire internet population) by 2014. The statistics regarding social gaming usage may come at quite a surprise.
Firstly, the females dominate the industry in social game usage. Of all social gamers, females make up a 54% majority. The average female player is also of a higher age than their male counterparts. An average female social gamer is 40 years old, compared to the average male console game, who is 37. These age averages are particularly shocking and counter the common assumption that most players are school kids and students. When looking closer into the age demographics, you will be able to see that the opposite is more accurate. The figures below show how much each segment of the population contributes to the entire social gaming population:
- 13 – 18 years old – 13%
- 19 – 25 years old – 23.5%
- 26 – 35 years old – 22%
- 36 – 45 years old – 17%
- 46+ years old – 24.5%
There is no doubt that the high proportion of female and older gamers is partially due to the surge of online bingo. The industry has grown substantially over the past five years and we are now beginning to see a range of mobile and social bingo games emerging. If you are looking for some guidance with choosing a place to play, you can find the best bingo sites at this site www.mybingoday.co.uk.
One of the most astonishing statistics to look at is the growth of the industry. Smartphone technology, wireless internet speeds and the rise of social networks such as Facebook have all acted as catalysts in this process. In 2011, the industry was worth just under $5billion. One year later, the value had jumped by over 20% to $6.2billion. This year, in 2013, the industry has been valued at $7.49billion and the estimates for 2014 are currently at $8.64billion, based on the previous rates of growth.
Another similar trend is the proportion of overall social media and internet users who are getting involved with social games. By 2014, it is expected that over half of all social network users will be involved in social gaming. Similarly, it is expected that over a third of the entire online population will be actively playing social games.
There is no doubt that this industry will continue to expand and it is making major console gaming companies question their future. It is a likely possibility that the industry for social games will exceed the size of the console market.
Edward Simpson has a M.A in business management and specialises in digital marketing. His focus nowadays is on marketing social games.