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PC gamer, WorthPlaying EIC, globe-trotting couch potato, patriot, '80s headbanger, movie watcher, music lover, foodie and man in black -- squirrel!

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Nearly 20% Of Consumers Play Social Games Online

by Rainier on Jan. 7, 2011 @ 12:00 a.m. PST

A fifth of consumers (19%) are now playing social games online, according to a new report by Econsultancy which looks in detail at a sector now worth close to a billion dollars.

The 38-page Social Gaming Smart Pack is a guide to understanding the current industry landscape and where the sector is heading, with case studies of how brands such as McDonalds, Volvo and Disney have already invested in this space.

The report includes the findings of an online survey of 2,000 consumers carried out by Econsultancy last month in association with Toluna. According to the report, the integration of social networks in particular has changed the way the world plays, as it has allowed social gaming to cross over to the mainstream.

This is the first of a series of Econsultancy Smart Packs designed to enlighten marketers about the latest trends and exciting new developments across the digital marketing landscape.

 Econsultancy's Research Manager, Aliya Zaidi, said: “Gaming is one of those sectors that has emerged from the social media landscape and is now showing rapid growth, thanks to the explosion of social networking technologies.

"The social gaming space is exciting because even in its relative infancy, it has shown itself to be highly profitable and to deliver strong return on investment, largely thanks to the sale of virtual goods and currency. The sector is an attractive area of investment for forward-thinking marketers."

Notably, the report finds that the typical profile of the average casual gamer does not reflect stereotype of the traditional, hard-core console gamer.

The survey found a fairly even split between the genders when it comes to playing social games, as some 20% of women are social gamers, compared to 18% of men.

Key survey findings:

  • Overall, a fifth of respondents to the Econsultancy / Toluna consumer survey (19%) said they played social games online.
  • Slightly more females are playing social games (20%) compared to 18% for male.
  • Social games are played frequently, with almost a third of gamers (30%) saying they play several times a day and just over a quarter (26%) playing several times a week.
  • A fifth of social gamers (20%) have paid to play a social game and 22% have bought virtual goods or purchased virtual currency. Men are more likely to pay to play social games.
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