The International Gamers Survey Report conducted by TNS and Gamesindustry.com (and published under www.todaysgamers.com) has revealed that Germany leads the way in Europe regarding the amount consumers spent on online game portals in 2009. Around 3 million German consumers spent an average of 180 Euros per person per year, totalling a staggering 540 million Euros. 2.4 million British online casual gamers spent an average of 130 Euros per year (totalling 310 million Euros) whereas 2.2 million French users spent 123 million Euros per year (totalling 270 million Euros).
In each of these countries, most gamers do not pay to play. Only 21% of German gamers, 19% of French gamers and 18% of British gamers were prepared to open their wallets for online games in 2009. However, this is set to change in 2010 as the companies behind online game portals such as king.com, miniclip.com and gameduell.com, whose business models heavily rely on advertising, are increasingly finding ways to monetize their users by offering them unique games, premium quality or the possibility to win prizes or money.
Buying online credits was the most popular way of spending money used by German (42%) and French (55%) paying online gamers, whereas buying subscriptions was the most popular method among British gamers in 2009 (32%).
The report also provides evidence for the increasing popularity of social games on social networks such as Facebook. Both in Germany and in France, around one in four game portal players also play games on social networks whereas the figure for British portal gamers is 38%. Indeed, social games are becoming a real force in gaming, with one out of ten casual gamers in each of these countries already choosing social networks as their primary gaming destination. In the US, as much as 24% of gamers prefer to play on social networking platforms such as Facebook.
In the report by TNS and Gamesindustry.com, Rik Haandrikman, Head of business development at international online gaming company GamePoint, is cited: “The range of business models in the online casual gaming business is staggering. With the rise of social networks as gaming destination things are getting even more exciting. We recently launched our games in Facebook and created an entire international multiplayer platform with tens of thousands of players and a working virtual economy in just a matter of weeks instead of the years it took to build our first game community.”
Newzoo, the company behind Gamesindustry.com and the International Gamers survey report, has announced the Casual, Social and Mobile Gaming Monitor; a new six-monthly survey (March and October 2010) on these fast-moving parts of the games industry which will be launched at this week´s Casual Connect in Hamburg.