updated 04:40 pm EST, Wed February 8, 2012
Gaming industry changing, sees large influx
A new study has found that the number of gamers in the US has grown from 56 million in 2008 to 135 million in 2011. The 241 percent increase is thanks largely to the explosion of new online and mobile gaming platforms, including those on social networks and smartphones. Parks Associates performed the study, which is called Trends in Digital Gaming: Free-to-Play, Social, and Mobile Games.
The report considers a gamer as such if he or she spends at least one hour a month playing a video game, whether it's on a home console, smartphone or as part of a social network such as Facebook. Those who downloaded a game on a phone has also risen from seven percent to 17. Of the 135 million, nearly 80 percent engage in free-to-play games on their computers online.
The change is due to the way the gaming industry is changing, with phone apps readily available that often cost $1, and not requiring a multi-hundred dollar system.
Game makers themselves are trying to build communities to keep gamers interested rather than simply giving up on them after selling them on particular title. This is especially evident in games where users can buy upgrades to their characters.
The study concludes that the gaming industry will see higher revenues over the next few years thanks to micro-transactions like in-app purchases. [via VentureBeat]